HIPAA has led to sweeping changes to health care administration and information systems as health care organizations struggle to achieve cost-effective compliance by 2003.All health care entities that process health-related data are required to comply with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
The U.S. Congress designed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996. Title I of HIPAA safeguards health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they lose or change their jobs. According to title II of HIPAA, the Administrative Simplification (AS) provisions, necessitates the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers. The AS provisions also address the security and privacy of health data. The purpose of all these standards is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation’s health care system by encouraging the extensive use of electronic data transactions in health care.
HIPAA is designed to regulate the way all health care organizations electronically exchange sensitive patient data and to protect patients from illegal disclosure of their medical records (whether paper or electronic). It means that if personal information is stored on computer databases, tapes, disks, or transmitted with the assistance of faxes or the Internet, in addition to anything written down or talked about, steps must be taken to ensure a patient’s privacy.
Today a number of HIPAA products and services are being offered both online and offline, such as, online HIPAA training, privacy manuals and template policies, security manuals and template policies, security products, disclosure tracking systems, compliance consulting services, etc. All these products are designed basically to guide you through the formidable transition of HIPAA compliance and help you navigate the complex and tedious regulatory environment created by HIPAA.
The online HIPAA training is a very convenient tool to learn about HIPAA. Moreover, it is available whenever and wherever you have an internet access. The privacy manuals and template policies are the workbooks that will lead you through a careful assessment of your company’s Privacy compliance plan. The security manuals and template policies are those workbooks that will guide you through a careful assessment of your company’s Security compliance plan. The security products include network security scanning and automated online backup. The network security scanning or the HIPAA e-probe beats hackers to the punch by vigilantly probing your Internet connected systems for vulnerabilities before the hackers can find and exploit them. The automated online backup or the e-backup lets you control the configuration and operation of your entire organization’s backup system from a single location. Monitoring and administration of all backup and recovery tasks are controlled from a single workstation. The disclosure tracking systems are those software programs that are designed and developed to address the requirement of covered entities (health care providers, payers, and clearinghouses) to record the required elements for the patient’s right to an accounting of disclosures. The compliance consulting services include onsite consulting services and the business associate certification.