Darl A. Hammacher Jr.
21 July 2013
HIPAA and Information Security
In a society where you can find out nearly everything about a person by simply using the internet, there are still certain aspects of people’s lives that remain private thanks to certain federal and state laws. These laws have been enacted to not only maintain privacy of patients, but to reduce costs and fraud in the field they are related to. The continued growth of the population and growth of the ability to obtain private information has compelled the government to continuously create and update laws to protect its citizens. One of the most important laws of the 2000’s was the passing of HIPAA, or Health ...view middle of the document...
This was meant to reduce the cost providers incurred to maintain a patient’s medical records; a cost that was normally passed down to the patient with increased billing amounts for each visit and/or procedure. Title II also details how a patient’s medical records can be released, to whom they can be released, and the amount of time a medical provider has to release such records.
In the past insurance companies could deny a person medical insurance because they felt the risk was too high or they would have to pay out too many claims for the person or a member of their family. Medical treatment facilities could and did charge what they wanted based on a person’s insurance status and medical history. According to HIPAA Title I, insurance companies must set time limits on any pre-existing medical condition that is not covered under their plan. Title I also provides provisions that an employee or their family member cannot be denied insurance all together due to a pre-existing medical condition they may have. Pre-existing conditions are those conditions which an employee or qualifying family member had been treated for before their current insurance coverage began. Title I also provides requirements for what an employer must do in the event of a job loss by an employee as well as defining what amounts an insurance company must cover in the event that a patient is covered under two insurance plans.
Many HIPAA rules and regulations tie both Title I and Title II together. For instance, a newborn cannot be denied coverage under the pre-existing condition clause nor can an adopted child. HIPAA also sets guidelines regarding the penalties for the violation of the HIPAA law. The law not only gives those penalties for medical facilities and physicians, but also for insurance companies and employers who do not comply with the law. HIPAA also details when a signed HIPAA order is not required under the law and what agencies are entitled to a person’s medical records without their consent. This provision also details what those agencies must provide to medical providers in order to have medical records released to them.
Not everyone at a medical facility or outside agency has access to a person’s medical records and under HIPAA; all records are the responsibility of the person who requested those records. Under HIPAA each person who will come in contact with privileged medical records as a...