A closer look at HIPAA: Part 1 — The rules and myths

A closer look at HIPAA: Part 1 — The rules and myths

By Lindy Benton, contributing writer

June 2, 2015 — The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), passed in 1996, was enacted to protect health information, increase oversight of transaction standards for the exchange of health information, and improve standards for security and privacy.

Ultimately, HIPAA regulation protects “protected health information” (PHI). This information is defined as individually identifiable health information that is transmitted by electronic media, maintained in electronic media, or transmitted or maintained in any other form or medium. The regulation applies to “covered entities,” including health plans, clearinghouses, and healthcare providers who transmits any health information in electronic form.

HIPAA defines health information as any data, whether oral or recorded in any form or medium that is created or received by a provider or employer and relates to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual; the provision of healthcare to an individual; or the past, present or future payment for the provision of healthcare to an individual.

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