HIPAA was passed by the Congress in 1996, and its the acronym for Health Insurance Portable and Accountability. The Act was created to serve the following function. First, it provides that ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for the Americans workers and their family when they change or lose their jobs. It was established that the family of such workers was greatly affected and the government had to intervene through securing the future of their families. Also, when a worker changes his or her job, it is evident that the person would not receive adequate payment which would affect their families. As such, the Act was formed to ensure such measures are put into the account.
The HIPAA was also formulated to reduce health care frauds and abuse. The government realized that it was losing a huge amount of money through fraud cases. Some of the health institutions were not keen on how their money was managed, and the workers took that opportunity to steal from that organization. Also, it was established that some people were using the health money for the wrong reason. As such, through enacting that Act, the government was having control of all medical covers for the American workers and their families.
Another purpose of the HIPAA Act was to ensure protection and confidential handling of protected health information. One of the ethical aspects of the health professional was to ensure confidentiality. However, there were no laws that would result in the prosecution of the health care worker when he or she fails to observe that aspect of confidentiality. However, with HIPAA Act, the health care professional and accountable for such actions. The Act also mandates industry-wide standards of health care information on electronic billing and other similar process.
The introduction of Electronic health records (EHR) has increasingly benefited the health sectors due to its efficiency. In the 21 century, the EHR has been introduced in almost all major health institution in the world. One of the major functions of the device is to safeguard all the information pertaining the patients of a given health care institution (Kirsch 35). In the past, it was indicated that most of the information were stored files which were easily lost. However, with such device, all the information could be used for future references. In the recent years, there have been cases that relate to missing of information through the EHR which resulted to the government introducing HIPAA act to govern the management of the system. The Act tends to cover the use of such electronic devices that relates to health care. As such, the management of the institution would be held accountable if any information is missing about that system since they are the one given the mandate of operating that system. As such, the law makes them accountable for such issues (Wilson, 26).
The HIPAA Acts also takes into consideration the purpose for which physicians personnel is accessing the information through the EHR. In that light, any disclosure other than the treatment, operations or payment needs to be analyzed to verify compliance with HIPAA. As such, the law has affected the operation of the EHR, but the main intention is to ensure that the system if efficiency and avoid any cases of fraud like in the past.
Wilson John. (2006). "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy rule causes ongoing concerns among clinicians and researchers". Ann Intern Med. 145 (4): 3136
Kirsch, Michael S. (2004). "Alternative Sanctions and the Federal Tax Law: Symbols, Shaming, and Social Norm Management as a Substitute for Effective Tax Policy". Iowa Law Review. 89 (863
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