Health Care Policy Paper

2786 words - 12 pages

There has been an issue with the privacy of medical information. Patient’s information was accessible to employers in some cases, and also to people issuing loans to these individuals. Patients reveal intimate details in confidence to their health care providers, which were normally stored in locked file cabinets, and on shelves in medical records department, now records are stored in data files and may be seen by hundreds of strangers in health service, insurance companies and any organization affiliated with health service. HIPPA Privacy Rule made it possible for all patients to see, copy and request to amend their own medical records. It provides federal protection for patient’s health ...view middle of the document...

Within Health and Human Services, the Office for Civil Rights has responsibility for implementing and enforcing the Privacy Rule with respect to voluntary compliance activities and civil money penalties. A major goal of the Privacy Rule is to assure that individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public's health and well being. (United States Department)
The Privacy Rule applies to health plans, which are individual, and group plans that provide or pay the cost of medical care; health care clearinghouses, these are entities that process nonstandard information they receive from another entity into a standard format or data content, or vice versa; and to any health care provider regardless of size who transmits health information in electronic form in connection with transactions for which the Secretary of Heath and Human Services has adopted standards under HIPAA. (United States Department) There are organizations that are not covered by HIPPA but receive information from private entities, these includes Life insurance companies, Workers Compensation, Agencies that deliver Social Security and welfare benefits, Automobile insurance plans that include health benefits, Internet self-help sites, Those who collect health data you give voluntarily for surveys or research projects, Those who conduct screenings at pharmacies, shopping centers, hometown fairs, or other public places for blood pressure, cholesterol, spinal alignment, and so on, Researchers who obtain health data directly from health care providers, and Law enforcement agencies. (Privacy rights)
HIPAA covers any information about your past, present or future mental or physical health including information about payment for your care. To be covered by HIPAA, information has to be kept by a covered entity. This, combined with some fact that identifies you (your name, address, telephone number, Social Security number) is called "protected health information" or PHI. PHI can be oral, handwritten, or entered into a computer. This means a conversation between a doctor and nurse about your condition has the same general protections as information written on your records. (Privacy rights) Information about you in your health insurer’s computer system, billing information about you at your clinic, and most other health information about you held by those who must follow these laws. Covered entities must put in place safeguards to protect your health information, reasonably limit uses and disclosures to the minimum necessary to accomplish their intended purpose, have contracts in place with their contractors and others ensuring that they use and disclose your health information properly and safeguard it appropriately, and must have procedures in place to limit who can view and access your health information as well as implement training programs for employees...

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