Archive for June 2010
Late Farrah Fawcett, a well known television and film actress, was in the news few years ago, when it was discovered that data pertaining to her health issues was leaked to the newspapers. It can be said that a celebrity is always at the center of attention and is susceptible to the act of compromising confidential information broke a federal law. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 1996 to avoid unauthorized access to confidential data, and this is what all business related to the medical field must comply with.
Who recognizes HIPAA?
If you are employed by an organization that gathers health data from individuals, you are termed as a ‘covered entity’, and you are expected to adhere to this law. Covered entities encompass the following:
- Healthcare centers and clinics.
- Insurance players in the health and medical space.
- Private practitioners – includes general and specialized practice doctors and others.
- Psychiatrists and Psychologists
- Medical billing outlets and collection companies.
Whether you employ a few or many people, safeguarding patient data is of paramount importance.
Records secured by HIPAA
Patients going to a healthcare center or a clinic must be guaranteed of discretion. It is necessary that confidential records are not compromised and cannot be accessed by people who do not have the required authority. Medical data secured by these federal laws encompass, but are not restricted to:
- Prescription data.
- Medical history logs.
- Appointment records.
- Phone and voicemail data.
- Insurance documents.
- Billing records.
Complying with HIPAA requirements
Old and obsolete patient records must be destroyed to ensure the patient’s privacy. A company adhering to HIPAA rules must be ready to exterminate documents in accordance with policies. Any and all documents have to be shredded thoroughly as just dumping papers cannot assure security – any person with a malicious intent could go through the garbage and obtain important personal information. Retaining the services of a professional is a sure way to ensure your safety also.
Adhering to the HIPAA pertinent to your business will provide you with the peace of mind needed to run without any hitches.