HIPAA Health Care Regulations - How Does HIPAA Apply to a Medical Practice?
- Author Robert Byrd
- Published February 11, 2020
- Word count 495
In light of the recent increase in the availability of online business solutions, it is important to understand the new regulations in the area of medical privacy. This is an area of healthcare, which has been completely changed with the introduction of HIPAA. The question that we ask is this: how does HIPAA apply to a medical practice?
The first thing to do is to consider the definition of HIPAA itself. This act was created for the protection of the privacy of an individual while undergoing health care procedures or services.
By the definitions provided, HIPAA can be applied to the HIPPA program, which is the primary program of the National Health Security Program established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). When considered from this perspective, you will see that HIPPA and HIPAA are closely related and have a direct relationship with each other.
The main areas that must be addressed are your overall compliance with the HIPPA privacy rules. It is not enough to simply document or report a patient's particular medical information.
Medical facilities must be able to inform the patient, if there is any change, as to how the information is being used. This is the first line of defense to protect your patient's privacy. The HIPPA Privacy Rule requires that an organization must also keep the data used for the medical care records secure.
Medical care and treatment providers are required to protect and disclose any appropriate information that relates to a patient, whether the information is a medical record or another kind of information. If this information includes his or her personal medical history, the organization must report this to the patient.
You may wonder if the information was disclosed. The law prohibits organizations from giving out any information that does not relate to medical care provided by them.
This can include any information concerning medical history, age, gender, race, etc. This includes a patient's allergies, history of any family members, current medications, and any other information which can assist the medical practitioner in the care of the patient.
Exposure of this information to third parties is prohibited. While it is not a requirement that the patient or their family members are notified, it is strongly recommended that they are made aware of any such information. The information cannot be used for marketing purposes or any other marketing purpose.
The information is not allowed to be disclosed for any reason whatsoever. The HIPPA Privacy Rule clearly states that this is for the protection of the patient and their family, but the aim is to prevent harm to the patient and their families.
The HIPPA Privacy Rule, however, does not apply to all health care providers. While the rules apply to hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, doctors' offices, medical supply and equipment suppliers, and even businesses, there are several exceptions. For example, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities are permitted to keep medical records confidential in certain situations.
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