HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act was put into effect in 1996 by Congress because Congress felt a standard of proper care needed to be in place on a national level. The act takes care of healthcare standards and also includes the requirement that all workers and their families should be protected with health insurance coverage, even if they lose their jobs. There are six factors in HIPAA that apply and CNA students must understand these laws and regulations in order to pass certification in a training program.

The Six Factors in HIPAA that Apply

The first section is Health Care Access, Portability, and Renewability. Under this section of the act, HIPAA can regulate the availability of insurance regarding group and some individual health plans. The second section is preventing health care frauds and abuse. HIPAA sets out certain offenses that can be taken to civil or criminal courts regarding fraud and abuse in the health care system. There are five rules in this section CNAs are required to utilize: privacy rule, transaction, and code sets rule, security rule, enforcement rule, and unique identifiers rule.

HITECH Act is a part of HIPAA that stands for Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. This was a revision to HIPAA in 2009 in which privacy and security concerns relating to electronic transmissions of information regarding a patient’s health are covered. There are new updates to civil and criminal offenses in this section to help firm the requirements CNAs must follow.

HIPAA does affect clinical and research care. These divisions are affected in how they can operate regarding information, studies, and paperwork involved in the clinical and research studies. For example, a health study is not able to release patient names, but a number of patients that were part of the study can be shared.

HIPAA discusses drug and alcohol rehabilitation, in so far as the organizations that exist and how these organizations can function. It pays close attention to federally funded facilities being available for patients who may not have money to go to a private facility for rehabilitation.

Legislative information as part of HIPAA includes HHS security standards, standards for privacy, Law publication 110 Stat. 1936, and The House and Senate acts which have been passed to ensure patient privacy and due diligence. HIPAA protects the confidentiality of the patient and the integrity of their documentation even when shared or requested by the patient.