HIPAA is the abbreviation for the Health Insurance portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This act comprises the benchmarks or the standards, which need to be followed when it comes to dealing with data and information regarding the medical history of a patient, which is extremely sensitive. This act will ensure that no medical information regarding a patient, which is confidential, will be revealed without their consent or permission. This act has been devised by the department of Health and Human Services. These rules and regulations, which have been created with respect to the privacy of the patient information, are known as HIPAA.
There are many rules and regulations, which come under HIPAA with regard to the transmission of medical information of the patient in an electronic format. There are also many rules and regulations which come under HIPAA which need to be followed by companies which are offering services in the field of medical transcription.
The rules and regulations which come under HIPAA apply to all health care plans, health care providers who send and receive medical records of patients in an electronic format, health care clearing houses and all companies which are involved in the processing of medical bills. All companies, which are providing medical transcription services, should make sure that all the medical information regarding each patient has been stored in a safe and secure manner. There should be a clear and proper record regarding the people who have access to the private medical information of all the patients. Any kind of new technology, which is available, should be used in order to protect the privacy of the medical information of these patients. All the data should be stored in a safe and secure manner with the help of a password.
The main purpose for the enforcement of this act is to ensure that health information about patients is not distributed freely. This also takes care that other private information regarding the patient like the name, address, telephone number or social security number is not revealed to anyone.
Nowadays medical transcription work is being outsourced to people who are professionals in the field of medical transcription and some of these people are based in countries, which are outside USA. The files are sent and received through the medium of the Internet. According to the rules and regulations, which have been enforced by HIPAA, all the files, e-mails and voicemails should be sent as well as received through the Internet only after the process of encryption has been completed. Otherwise an extremely secure FTP site should be used in order to send and receive the files. In case the documents are being faxed, a disclaimer statement should be attached which will highlight the importance of keeping the information confidential. But if the documents are being dictated through the telephone, then the process of encryption will not have to be performed.
All health care plans, companies providing health care services and those who send and receive medical records in an electronic format, health care clearing houses and companies which are involved in medical billing should abide by these rules which have been enforced by HIPAA.