Health Information

1 January 2017

Not only is that important it also needs to be accurate and reliable medical information. All of the above information is not only very important it also impacts the HIPAA privacy rule. The Office for Civil Rights is responsible with its enforcement of the HIPPA Privacy Rule. Not only does it need to be enforced it needs to be constantly upheld at all times. This is necessary to protect both the patient and the medical professionals from unauthorized use of their health records and to allow medical providers access to secure, safe, accurate, and reliable medical information.

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The demand for information has risen from not only third party payers but in fact has risen from governmental entities. Patients now have to consent in order to accept health care treatment. As a result from the demand for patient information has brought forth a huge development between the law and medicine. There’s also the term informed consent. This is used in law to indicate that the consent a patient gives falls under certain minimum standards. Any informed consent can be said to have been given based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and future consequences of an action.

Any patient who is concerned must have adequate reasoning faculties and must be in possession of all relevant facts at the time the consent was given. Both of these are needed in order to give an informed consent. To understand the responsibilities that confidentiality and informed consent place on health-care providers, The United States Congress created the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996. This act provides protection of health care coverage for workers, and also protects the privacy and security of medical information.

The HIPAA laws allow authorized medical professionals or healthcare organizations to have access to your private medical records. Anything a doctor, nurse or other health professional has written or discussed about your personal medical treatment is confidential. Medical data that is being held by your health insurance company is also kept confidential and also any billing information which is submitted by patients or a medical facility or your health insurance company. HIPAA restricts who can and can’t request access to patient medical information. It is very important that your medical provider have access to all of your health history.

There are entities that can access your medical information without your written consent such as: employers, workers compensation are all exempt. School districts, state agencies, and law enforcement agencies or institutions are exempt from HIPAA laws and are not required to follow the privacy and security rules. It is very important that you fully understand your HIPAA rights before anyone consents to release any medical information to organizations that are not required to follow the privacy and security rules HIPPA has put in place to protect confidential information.

ROI policies and processes need to be adaptive. The process should be changed to meet new regulatory requirements and technology. Changes to the HIPAA rules regarding the accounting of health information disclosures expected this year have the potential to dramatically expand HIM and ROI responsibilities and pose operable disputes. Health information exchanges are pushing the frequency and scope of how patient information gets transferred. All HIM professionals must continue to remain aware and on top of all changes to ensure HIPAA compliance and change processes accordingly.

The HIPAA privacy rule has received both positive and negative effects on the release of patient information by healthcare facilities. The intention of HIPAA was to protect patient privacy and to promote security and confidentiality of all patient information; it has had some unintended consequences for facilities. Some of these unintended effects, discovered about some issues directly related to the release of patient information which has had an impact with the implementation of HIPAA.

The biggest issues that were found were. Increases in the public’s misunderstanding about release of patient information, lack of an umbrella policy, regulation defining infractions, enforcement that allows individual institutions to make their own version, and challenges to health information management professionals in controlling safeguards related to release of information given the transition to electronic health records and the increased involvement of information technology.

The findings from this research suggest there is a need for additional clarification of the regulations that are governing HIPAA, and its standardized instructions and extensive training of its healthcare workers. I have learned so much about how the release of information impacts the HIPPA Privacy Rule. I do believe the most impact comes from the public because most people don’t understand new health care practices such as: record keeping, obtaining verbal or written consent.

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