Welcome to this guide to HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It is important to know about HIPAA if you work in the healthcare industry. It is also crucial to understand HIPAA if you have a health plan.
Taking a course on HIPPA can be especially fruitful. You can stay up-to-date on HIPAA privacy and security laws by taking a course. It will keep you abreast of HIPAA policies and procedures.
You can get HIPAA training from the American HealthCare Academy. All you have to do is register yourself on the AHCA website. And you are good to go!
With this guide, you will learn:
What is HIPAA? What is protected by HIPPA? What kinds of violations can occur? What are the penalties for the violations?
Let’s get started!
What is HIPAA?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a federal law that came into effect in 1996. It safeguards the privacy of individuals’ health-related data. It is commonly referred to as – protected health information (PHI). This includes information about a person’s physical or mental health and treatments. It also includes their personal and financial information. Considering the sensitivity of information, it is crucial to protect it.
HIPAA requires that health records of people be kept confidential and secure. It sets standards for how personal health information must be handled and stored. HIPAA requires organizations to maintain detailed records of any disclosures of personal health information.
It also provides individuals with certain rights. They can request access to their health records. They also have the right to demand corrections to their health records.
Which businesses are covered in HIPAA?
After understanding what HIPAA is, it is important to understand who it applies to.
HIPAA applies to organizations and individuals that provide, transmit, or receive healthcare information.
It applies to the following:
- Health care providers such as doctors, hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes
- Health plans such as those offered by insurance companies, HMOs, and employers
- Health care clearinghouses
- Business associates of covered entities, such as claims processors, billing companies, and IT vendors.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule applies to all forms of individually identifiable health information. This includes electronic, paper, and oral communications.
Business associates of covered entities are also bound by HIPAA regulations. Therefore, they must comply with the Privacy Rule. Business associates must enter into contracts with covered entities. This ensures that PHI is safeguarded and appropriate safeguards are in place. Business associates must also ensure that their subcontractors comply with HIPAA.
What are the various HIPAA violations?
HIPAA violations happen when someone mishandles a person’s PHI. This could be sharing it with someone who is not authorized to have it. It also includes a lack of appropriate measures to protect the information.
Examples of HIPAA violations include:
- Disclosing PHI without permission
- Failing to provide access to PHI when requested
- Failing to secure PHI
- Using PHI for marketing or advertising without permission
Are there any penalties?
Yes, there are penalties for HIPAA violations, depending on its severity. It could be civil or criminal penalties.
- Minimum civil penalties of $100 per violation can be imposed.
- Maximum civil penalties of $50,000 per violation may be imposed.
- Other violations could lead to annual penalties of up to $1.5 million.
- Criminal penalty fines for HIPAA violations can be up to $250,000. It can also include imprisonment of up to 10 years.
Additionally, covered entities may be subject to state laws. They may impose additional penalties, such as fines, damages, and criminal penalties. The Office for Civil Rights is responsible for investigating possible HIPAA violations.
HIPAA was created to protect people’s health information. It ensures it is only used for authorized purposes. It applies to any organization that handles PHI. Penalties for violations of HIPAA are serious.
Everyone should make sure they understand the HIPPA law. They must take appropriate steps to protect the information they may have access to.
This is where the American HealthCare Academy plays a significant role. We help you get HIPAA certified. Our course provides fundamental training in compliance with HIPAA. It will reduce the potential for lawsuits and minimize mistakes in patient care.