Vancouver Home Health Care Agency

What is HIPAA

What is HIPAA

HIPAA stands for the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, and was introduced in 1996 in response to many healthcare facilities switching to computerized record keeping. It is regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS. The main goal of HIPAA is to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system in relation to electronic healthcare transactions. This means that any information recorded or submitted electronically is protected by HIPAA.

The HIPAA mandate led the HHS to publish a regulation referred to as the Privacy Rule in 2000, which set national standards for health information protection. Three main types of entities were covered: health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and health care providers who conduct transactions electronically. All healthcare covered entities had to implement standards to protect against the misuse of electronically submitted information. Any entity which failed to do so was fined.

The reason behind HIPAA is the fast paced direction health care took toward electronic record keeping, and the result of HIPAA was a more protected level of care. Any information transmitted from electronic record keeping is confidential; as more professional health care workers have more access to more patients, it was important to tighten electronic security levels.

A patient’s record can be viewed electronically by a growing number of professionals; even hospitals or doctors who do not see the patient might have access to the records. HIPAA ensures that the patient records remains confidential. In the past, a patient or a doctor had to physically hold a file to get information. Now, electronic record keeping allows a growing number of people to have more convenient access to a patient’s chart. The type of protection provided by HIPAA is necessary in this faster paced environment.

The Vancouver Home Health Care Agency is happy to help you and your family understand HIPAA Laws and Regulations. At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.

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