Why it’s important to follow HIPAA laws
HIPAA stands for The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which was established in 1996. This legislation policy was enacted to address the rising health coverage issues for individuals who lose their jobs, protect private health information, reduce health care fraud, and establish industry-wide standards. Without HIPAA, employees often faced challenges of losing their insurance coverage (Li and Michael 46). Thus, it came into place and at the right time. It does not only help patients, but it also helps healthcare organizations and systems in proper and effective healthcare management. It is important to follow HIPAA laws for various reasons.
HIPAA brings forth multiple benefits both to individuals and to the larger healthcare industry. It marked the transition stage from using paper records to electronic ways of keeping health information. It has also helped streamline administrative healthcare roles, enhance efficiency in the healthcare industry, and ascertain that healthcare information is kept and shared securely (Cohen et al. np). It is also important to keep the HIPAA laws because it has set up standards for recording health data and electronic transactions, ensuring that everybody is on the same page.
Furthermore, because every entity covered by HIPAA must incorporate a similar code set and nationally recognized identifiers, it assists in the effective transfer of electronic health information between healthcare providers, healthcare planners, managers, stakeholders, and other entities. Personal healthcare data is always and highly sought for by criminals and thieves through their many elusive ways (Li and Michael 49). Therefore, it is significant for healthcare providers to implement HIPAA since it entails rules and regulations that healthcare corporations must comply with. Failure to which they are at higher chances of facing heavy fines.
HIPAA is important for patients because of the many benefits it bestows upon them. It ensures and makes it compulsory for healthcare planners, providers, clearinghouses, and business associates of the HIPAA-covered entities to implement many safeguards to protect sensitive health and personal, informal information (Cohen et al. np). Although no healthcare organization intends to expose sensitive patient information or have their health information stolen, Shay (8) argues that without the establishment of HIPAA laws, perhaps there would have been no requirement for healthcare institutions to protect health data, and again, maybe there would have been no repercussions if they failed to do so.
The laws were established to help healthcare organizations control who can access health data, restrict people who can view the health information, and who that health information can be shared with. HIPAA is also significant to patients who intend to be active in the healthcare services and want to get copies of their healthcare information (Cohen et al. np; (Li and Michael 50). Since we can never expect total perfection in any sector, even healthcare organizations can make mistakes when taking health information records. Therefore, if patients can be advantaged to get copies, they can often countercheck errors and ensure that mistakes are corrected.
Getting copies of health information also helps patients when seeking treatment from other healthcare providers. This results in consistency because the new healthcare providers have a patient’s whole health history, which will guide them on their next decisions (Shay 7). Before the introduction of HIPAA laws, there were no rules for healthcare institutions requiring them to provide copies of patients’ information.
To conclude, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has played a significant role in enhancing healthcare organizations’ efficiency and accountability. Health information can be recorded and kept safely, and patients can also access their healthcare information. Thus, it is important to follow HIPAA laws because it provides sure ways to have quality healthcare services and ensure that health information is securely kept.
Cohen, I. Glenn, and Michelle M. Mello. “HIPAA and protecting health information in the 21st century.” Jama 320.3 (2018)
Li, Jingquan, and Michael J. Shaw. “Electronic medical records, HIPAA, and patient privacy.” International Journal of Information Security and Privacy (IJISP) 2.3 (2008): 45-54.
Shay, Daniel F. “The HIPAA Security Rule: Are You in Compliance?.” Family Practice Management 24.2 (2017): 5-9.