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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (Privacy Rule) sets forth, for the first time, a set of national standards for the protection of certain health information.

HIPAA

HIPPA was created primarily to modernize the flow of healthcare information, stipulate how Personally Identifiable Information maintained by the healthcare and healthcare insurance industries should be protected from fraud and theft, and address limitations on healthcare insurance coverage.

The HIPAA act consists of five titles:

  • Title I protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs.
  • Title II requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers.
  • Title III sets guidelines for pre-tax medical spending accounts.
  • Title IV sets guidelines for group health plans.
  • Title V governs company-owned life insurance policies.

Purpose

HIPAA does the following:

  • Provides the ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for millions of American workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs;
  • Reduces health care fraud and abuse;
  • Mandates industry-wide standards for health care information on electronic billing and other processes; and
  • Requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information

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