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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
HIPAA was otherwise known as Health Insurance Portability, and Accountability Act or the even known as the Public Law passes by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton to be a law on August 21, 1996. HIPAA has become super famous in all of our healthcare settings having two primary purposes the first one is to protect our privacy, like our personal health information as well as helping us with issues like discrimination, insurance rates, and people knowing your health without your consent. HIPAA offers the ability to know who receives your health information as well as the opportunity to continue health insurance if you change or lose your job and the second one is to reduce the cost of healthcare by having the goal to identify the abuse, fraud, and misuse of health insurance.
Sections
HIPAA contains five sections to help identify it the first one is the Health Care Access, Portability, and Renewability this protects people that have been fired for some reason or have made a change in their careers by continuing having the possibility of health insurance, without the insurance company being able to deny coverage because of any pre-existing illness. This section also makes it illegal for insurance companies to put a lifetime coverage on insurance plans making it difficult for people that have or are suffering from very expensive and devastating illnesses. Title one gives the possibility to renew policies even if the company has terminated the idea they have to offer some other plan for as long as the patient wants or they must provide other alternatives if the program has been discontinued.
Title 2
The second is Administrative Simplification directing to the Health and Human Services to process electronic healthcare transactions. Meaning that HIPAA must maintain the privacy and security of each patient as well as provide a program to reduce and control fraud and abuse in the health care system. Making sure no one is abusing the health care plan and violating HIPAA.
Title 3
The third one is Tax-Related Health Provision governing medical savings accounts, and that is that tax-related provision is a guideline for Medicare as well. This is a set amount of money that a person saves through their employment for any medical emergencies. A medical savings account is not taxable, so no tax is deducted, but you must have an idea of the amount that you will need during the year because this amount doesn’t roll over to the next year the amount put in the account must be used that same year. This benefit is available to employees that are sponsored and have a high deductible plan.
Title 4
The fourth is Application and Enforcement of Group Health Plan Requirements. This gives us all the specific condition that the plans have to consider before approving or denying insurance. This specifies the rules that need to be met to qualify to continue the coverage after the loss of employment which is known as a COBRA.
Title 5
The fifth and final one is the Revenue offsets deductions for employers. This offers life insurance for employers that own a company with premiums that are withheld from tax-deductions as well as any contracts that are related to the company. (Jacqueline Biscobing, 2017)
Violations
There has been a lot of violations of HIPAA reported in the last couple of years. Unknowingly violating HIPAA is 100 dollars with a maximum of 25,000 dollars if you know you are violating HIPAA the violation is 50,000 dollars with the peak of 1.5 million dollars in repeated violations. There has been 91,000 complains in which 22,000 has led to criminal actions. The most significant event where data was lost was in 2011 where 4.9 million people that were in Tricare were affected. In 2017 the most substantial fine in the history of the amount of 5.5 million dollars was towards Memorial Healthcare System because they were accessing the confidential information of the patient. (Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act , 2018) Being in the Medical field, you have to understand that a lot of valuable details will pass by your hands, but loyalty and integrity are essential in this field. I like to think about it as what if it was me would I wish for someone to pass off my information to someone else just because. We all have to have respect for the individual even though HIPAA has been broken by many I think it has helped a lot more people to understand how important it is to be discrete and the importance of integrity.
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