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Healthcare organizations must comply with HIPAA to ensure better control of healthcare information

Dennis Begos.

Recognizing the utmost importance of maintaining confidentiality with personal healthcare information, the US government introduced the Health Insurance Portability. And Accountability Act in 1996. All healthcare businesses must comply with HIPAA regulations. The laws aim to control and eliminate healthcare frauds, create standards across the industry. And protect personal healthcare information, explains Dennis Begos.

For protecting personal healthcare information or PHI, the laws helped formulate the Privacy Policy, formally known as the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information that provides ease for holding the medical practices accountable for ensuring security.

Dennis Begos underlines the importance of HIPAA compliance

However, The most noticeable impact of HIPAA is the digitization of medical records, which is among the top benefits that the healthcare industry derives by complying with the laws. It is mandatory to convert all paper-based health information into digital records or electronic copies. HIPAA has helped streamline the administrative functions of healthcare, ensure protected sharing of healthcare information. And improve efficiency in the working ways of the healthcare industry. 

By standardizing healthcare records and electronic transactions, it is possible to ensure that all healthcare industry stakeholders are on the same page. However, Since all organizations complying with HIPAA use the same set of codes. And identifiers recognized nationally, it eases the transmission of electronic health information across health plans, healthcare providers, and other entities.

Importance of HIPAA for patients

However, Patients are the highest beneficiaries of HIPAA because the laws ensure that the health plans, healthcare providers, business associates of HIPAA-covered entities. And healthcare clearinghouses take adequate measures to protect sensitive health and personal information. Although no healthcare organization would like to see any theft of healthcare information of patients. And instead, try to prevent exposure of sensitive health information or data, HIPAA compels organizations to do their part. And hold them accountable for any mishap.

What healthcare organizations must do for HIPAA compliance

However, HIPAA laws make it clear that healthcare organizations are responsible for protecting all healthcare data. And the personal information of patients. And implementing the HIPAA rules would empower organizations to control the access to healthcare data by restricting, its access only to authorized persons. Also, The same applies to viewing health information and sharing it. It is also the responsibility of the custodian of health information to decide about its disclosure to health plans. And healthcare providers, as well as information created, stored. And transmitted by them remain under strict security controls.  Patients are kept informed about the sharing of information regarding its recipient to have complete control over it. 

However, Patients who want to take more interest in their healthcare information by retaining copies of the documents can benefit from the HIPAA regulations.  It ensures double-check of the information as the possibilities of healthcare organizations committing some mistakes in recoding data can always happen. On detecting errors, patients can arrange for its correction by pointing it out to the healthcare organization that possesses the data or using it.