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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Changing Lives

Heather Cuthbert
COM 102
June 22, 2014

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Changing Lives The acronym HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA was enacted by congress August 21, 1996 and signed by President Bill Clinton the same year. It had required the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HSS) to propose standards protecting the privacy of individually identifiable health information within a year by August 21, 1997 (Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, n.d.). The overall purpose of HIPAA is to improve the portability and continuity of health insurance coverage in group and individual markets. HIPAA has changed lives in many ways for patients, doctors and medical offices. As a patient it has helped to make them feel more secure with not only their health insurance, but also their personal information. Doctors have had to adjust their offices in many ways in order to comply with HIPAA. Medical offices have had to make changes in how they perform everyday tasks, including the medical offices use of electronic records (Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, n.d.).
Effect on Patients HIPAA has made a great impact on the privacy of patient’s personal information. As patient’s it is important to know our rights. Patient’s now have a specific place to file a complaint and there is recourse if a medical practice violates the patient’s privacy. HIPAA has helped patient’s rest a bit easier knowing that their protected health information (PHI) is now protected under HIPAA law. It has also given patient’s more rights when it comes to knowing what is in their medical records (Laurinda B Harman, 2005).

Effect on Doctors When it comes to the changes and effects HIPAA has had on doctors it seems to be much…...

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