Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, in 1996 to assist both health coverage and privacy for patients. The need for confidentiality was realized when increasingly larger and additional health information was recorded and exchanged electronically. Previous to HIPAA, there were precious few laws to help maintain patient privacy when their medical notes were recorded on a computer rather than as part of a standard paper chart. HIPAA’s privacy rules were created to grant patients their health records and maintain their confidential data (Drolet et al., 2017). It is significant to mention that the Act consists of five different categories. Section I of HIPAA defends health insurance scope for employees and their families when they transfer or lose their jobs. Section II of HIPAA is the Administrative Simplification (AS) provisions. It requires state criteria for the e-commerce of health care services and state eligibility identifiers for suppliers, medical plans, and contract employers. Section III establishes guidelines for medical expense accounts for tax purposes (Drolet et al., 2017). Part IV sets guidelines for group health insurance plans, and Section V regulates company-owned life insurance policies.
It is essential to mention that HIPAA is designed to expand health insurance. It can occur through the use of mobility and continuity mechanisms for group and individual plans. At the same time, the law aims to combat healthcare diversion and encourages patients to use health savings accounts. This enhances the provision of long-term care for patients and simplifies administrative processes in the hospital. As a result, the law aims to ensure that hospital clients have complete privacy and the security of their medical information. The primary intent of the law is to ensure that all electronic transactions are performed uniformly according to a single procedure. Significantly, the state authorities developed the procedure and included mandatory rules and basic terms. Accordingly, the law mandates that transactions not be delayed, which could adversely affect hospital operations (Drolet et al., 2017). Therefore, HIPAA aims to reduce the costs the government and patients waste on health care and enhance the quality of care.
It should also be mentioned that HIPAA intends to quickly transfer information between hospitals and databases through a set of codes and patient IDs. In addition, the law has introduced the rule that patient data can only be obtained through a request procedure. Accordingly, in this way, the hospital guarantees the protection of patients’ data and their access control (Drolet et al., 2017). The common goal of this law is to enhance the quality of health care services with improved health insurance and confidentiality of information.
The Explanation of the Effectiveness of the Law
It appears to me that the law is quite successful in regulating the areas it aims to address. Before HIPAA, medical data theft was frequently used to commit identity crimes. This had only financial consequences for the patients whose data was stolen. It also permitted offenders to receive medical care under pretenses or to trade data on the black market to uninsured persons who could benefit from costly therapy. This led to increased insurance costs passed on to individuals through advanced insurance premiums. It is challenging to measure the monetary advantages of administrative facilitation and efficiency gains since the modifications embraced by these frameworks have been implemented for a long duration. However, research evidence indicates that HIPAA adherence produces better treatment outcomes for individuals, which translates into higher staff member morale (Drolet et al., 2017). If this is true, qualifying institutions will get the monetary rewards of CMS value-based plans and have less expense related to worker mobility.
HIPAA has created a policy mandating that healthcare institutions control who has access to health records, restricting who can inspect health data and to whom this content can be transferred. HIPAA assists in guaranteeing that any disclosures made to healthcare service providers and healthcare plans, or the personal data they generate, transmit, or retain, are submitted to rigorous security monitoring. Patients are also afforded access to control to whom their data is disclosed and to whom it is released. HIPAA is essential for patients who want to take a more active role in their health care and want copies of their health information. Even with great care, medical organizations can make errors when documenting health details (Drolet et al., 2017). If patients can get access to samples, they can make confident that there are errors and procure that they are addressed.
Acquiring access to duplicate medical record data also assists patients when they request medical therapy from new service providers. The records can be used collectively, the analyses do not need to be replicated, and the new medical vendors have a comprehensive picture of the patient’s health history to guide their decision-making. Before the adoption of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, there was no mandatory obligation for healthcare entities to produce copies of a patient’s medical files. Notably, a clear registration of the rules when a healthcare provider can disclose a patient’s data ensures that the law is enforceable. Therefore, child abuse, gunshot wounds, or injuries sustained in the event of a crime allow medical professionals to report information to the appropriate services (Drolet et al., 2017).
The conclusion can be made that the law, through a clear statement, preserves private information and even identifies crimes. In this way, HIPAA has significantly changed the functioning of healthcare facilities and healthcare professionals and has successfully regulated the areas it targets.
Drolet, B. C., Marwaha, J. S., Hyatt, B., Blazar, P. E., & Lifchez, S. D. (2017). Electronic communication of protected health information: privacy, security, and HIPAA compliance. The Journal of hand surgery, 42(6), 411-416.