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Week 9 Final Project

Week 9 Final Project

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Published by LisaSpencer98

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Published by: LisaSpencer98 on Apr 17, 2011
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HIPAA Confidentiality 1
Implications of HIV and AIDS from the Perspective of HIPAA ConfidentialityYour NameAXIA College of University of Phoenix
 
HIPAA Confidentiality 2
HIV and AIDS are the most serious diseases to date. Doctors discovered the first case of AIDS in the U.S. around 20 years ago, and today an estimated 42 million people live with HIVand AIDS (Teens Health, 2009). Additionally, another 300,000 people are estimated to haveeither HIV or AIDS but are unaware of their condition. Around 40,000 new HIV infections occur annually (The Body, 2001). As long as HIPAA exists, the privacy of every patient’s medicalinformation—including any information about HIV and AIDS—will be protected andinformation will remain confidential (The Law Office of Kendra S. Kleber & Associates PLLC,n.d.).AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The body’s CD4 helper lymphocytes, which are defense cells, are destroyed by HIV. These lymphocytes are contained inthe immune system, which is the bodily system that helps to ward off infections. As the CD4lymphocytes are being destroyed by HIV, the body begins to develop other infections that wouldnormally not affect it. Once the immune system has been destroyed by HIV, the body developsacquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). People who have AIDS are unable to fight off infections. HIV can be transmitted in several ways, such as through shared needles, semen froman individual that is infection, blood, breast milk, and to a baby during childbirth from aninfected mother (Teens Health, 2009).Understanding what exactly the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act(HIPPA) is will help in an understanding of the implications of HIV and AIDS from the perspective of HIPAA confidentiality. HIPAA was enacted by Congress in 1996 as a way to prevent patients’ health information from being inappropriately used. Restrictions by HIPAAhave been placed on how medical records are handled and who is able to access the information.HIPAA has four parts. The first is transaction, which is the process that takes place when health-
 
HIPAA Confidentiality 3
related information is reported. The second and third are security and privacy of protected healthinformation. The fourth is portability, which is concerned with preserving an individual’s abilityto have health insurance whether they have a preexisting or current medical condition. HIPAAhas put regulations and rules into action for ensuring that rights are preserved and confidentialityis protected for every individual; this includes people with HIV and AIDS. HIPAA’s regulationsand laws have limited the use of preexisting conditions. Because of HIPAA, health plans cannotdiscriminate against anyone with a denial of coverage due to a family member’s poor health.Specific individuals and small employers that lose job-related health insurance coverage areguaranteed the right purchase individual health insurance, thanks to HIPAA. No matter anindividual’s health condition(s), if that person has bought health insurance, he or she is able torenew that policy under HIPAA (Biel-Cunningham, 2003).Information about HIV and AIDS is kept confidential. When referring to the HIPAAregulations, private and confidential are two different concepts. Confidential information is anyinformation that could be damaging and highly sensitive, which is why special laws are in placeto protect any confidential information. Information that is private is information that anindividual wishes for no one else to know about. This type of information is not always protectedand its status can change according to the situation. An individual may be HIV-negative, HIV- positive, or HIV-untested, and that person’s information enjoys protection under the HIVconfidentiality law. Patients’ information is protected by HIPAA wherever they go. For example,if a hospital employee learns any information of a medical nature at work, and then shares thatinformation with a friend, the employer is responsible. Treating sensitive information socarefully is important in cases of HIV and AIDS. Some people may wish to treat a patient’s HIVstatus as just another bit of information, but in reality all information about HIV and AIDS is

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