Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA is a key element of the Privacy Rule, more commonly referred to as The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. This rule ensures that sensitive information about the health care of individuals remains secured and free from any security breaches. The laws being implemented aren’t just applicable to Health Care Organizations alone, other organizations and business entities are also subjected to the restraints set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The Office for Civil Rights or more commonly referred as “OCR,” has full responsibility for implementing and enforcing the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information Rule concerning either voluntary compliance activities or involuntary compliance with organizations and business entities via the use of civil money penalties.
A business that falls directly or indirectly under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act are subjected to its requirements and penalties. The primary purpose of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act aligns well with its implementation in the practical field of work, being to ensure the safeguard of sensitive health-related information and to come up with superior health treatments. This Includes Health Insurance plans, as well as other health-related benefits such as compensations for families and relatives, along with information about employee health conditions and the record is to be kept under legal confidentiality. Businesses must secure this information at all cost whether the information is being transferred, shared, stored or received. Along with controlling the medium of transmission to avoid security breaches.
Securing Information – Past Medical Records
With the implementation of HIPAA, companies are at this moment obligated to secure information about past medical records and current medical conditions, internally and externally from unauthorized third parties. Employees who are permitted to gain access to such information under the authorization of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act are allowed to handle this information.
Any information regarding absenteeism due to medical reasons is strictly forbidden to be shared with any external parties. The information regarding the need for leave may only be disclosed if the employee himself gives willing consents to it.
Implementing HIPAA Approved Policies
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requires organizations to develop as well as implement rules and regulations that are according to its standard. A thorough documentary of whether the laws and regulations being implemented in the organizations are recorded to ensure that they are in alliance with the HIPAA standards. If for any reason the regulations are compromised, the organizations will be subjected to legal penalties.
There are certain categories of HIPAA security safeguard, that cover three broad fields; Administrative, physical and technical. The administrative safeguard in any business setting deals with procedures and policies to manage the selection, development, implementation, maintenance, and supervision of security measures that protect sensitive health-related information about the workers. Physical safeguard refers to taking physical measures to help protect an entity’s electronic information from data malfunctions as well as natural and environmental hazards. Technical safeguarding in a business setting implements procedures that protect sensitive health information by controlling access to it. Audit controls, integrity controls as well as Personal or entity authentication are all applicable as a remedy to ensure the safety requirements are as per the demands of HIPAA.