HIPAA is the abbreviation for the health insurance portability and accountability act, which was initially enforced in 1996, but all the rules and regulations, which come under this act, became fully operational only in the year 2003. The main purpose behind the enforcement of HIPAA was that when people will continue to have access to their medical insurance when they are shifting their jobs or even when they are looking for a job. Initially it was a very difficult task to get the medical insurance company changed without paying very heavy premiums. Another benefit of the implementation of HIPAA is that it helps in protecting the medical records and other medical information of patients and this has also created a proper standard or benchmark for the management of the personal medical information of all patients.
Portability is something, which many people have not yet understood. Previously whenever a person quit his job or got fired from his current job, his medical insurance would immediately expire on termination of services from the company. When he applied for medical insurance once again with his new employer his medical state of health would be classified under the tag of pre-existing conditions. Due to this clause, the insurance company was not under any obligation to reimburse the amount, which was being spent in order to cure such a medical condition. When a person has been taking medicines regularly for high blood pressure, the medical insurance company did not have to reimburse the amount spent on these medicines since this is already a pre-existing medical condition.
Under the rules and regulations of HIPAA, no conditions could be laid down by the insurance companies regarding pre-existing conditions, the new employers would have to renew the existing insurance policy and they were also not allowed to charge high premiums. Apart from all these, they have also stated that health insurance should be made portable between companies. This is extremely useful for people who are shifting jobs. They will not have to worry about gaining coverage for their medical insurance and having to pay huge medical bills.
According to HIPAA, accountability means the standards and benchmarks which need to be followed regarding the exchange of private medical information between insurance companies, health care providers, pharmacies, patients and all other covered entities. With the advent of technology and electronic mail, violating the privacy of the medical information of a patient has become much easier.
HIPAA has given the department of Health and Human Services the right to create rules regarding the transfer as well as the management of information, which is sensitive and private. They have also established codes, which will help in the process of identifying medical expenses as well as administrative expenses. A system of creating national Ids for all health care providers as well as insurance companies has also been established by the department of Health and Human Services. All the required policies and procedures should be implemented to make sure that the private medical information of all patients is secured and protected.