The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 have created quite a flutter in the field of digital imaging of documents as well as the processing of forms. Any company which can be described as a covered entity under HIPAA should take care extra care when any part of their operations are being outsourced to some other entity which has to deal with the personal medical information of patients. There are two main elements in HIPAA, which deal with the imaging of documents as well as the processing of claims. Issues with respect to the privacy of medical information and simplification of administrative processes are the two main areas of importance for HIPAA.
Whenever a person comes to the clinic of a doctor for a consultation, he is asked to sign a multitude of forms, which are also known as HIPAA privacy forms. But the signing of the privacy and disclosure forms does not end the process. People who are in a position where they have to handle a lot of medical information should take extra care while dealing with the information, which has been entrusted to their care. This information includes the personal medical history of the patient, enrollment files as well as medical claims, which have been made by the patient.
While dealing with people who are providing document-imaging services, you should make sure that you first ask them about their policies and procedures with regard to HIPAA. Every employee of the company needs to sign an agreement, which states that they are aware of how they should handle the personal medical information, which belongs to the patient. The company should not in any way encourage the distribution and reading of the personal medical information of the patient. Extra care should be taken to ensure that the privacy of the medical information of the patient is ensured.
The security rules, which come under privacy for HIPAA, include administrative safeguards, which state that the company will implement all policies and procedures in order to ensure compliance with HIPAA, physical safeguards which will prevent any unauthorized access to the private medical information of the patient and also technical safeguards which will make sure that all computers which contain the medical information regarding the patients will have the maximum possible security which can be provided.
The main and most important role, which will be played by administrative simplification, is to make sure the administrative processes, which are involved in the field of health care, are made much simpler. Benchmarks and yardsticks are created for all kinds of electronic transactions, which take place in the field of health care. The medical insurance cannot ask any person who is medically insured to submit documents other than those, which have been permitted by HIPAA.
If a clearinghouse, which has some experience, is employed during the process of medical claims, then they will ensure that your paper claims are according to the standards, which have been set by HIPAA. Once all the documents for the medical claims have been submitted in the format which has been prescribed by HIPAA, then the whole process will be very simple the next time a medical claim needs to be made.