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The law I chose to write about is the Health Insurance Portability and

Accountability Act or in short term the HIPAA. This act was passed in 1996, to

set a national standard for electronic transfers on health data. Congress also saw

this law as a means to address the growing public concern about their privacy

and security of their personal health data. The privacy rule was made effective on

April 14, 2003, for most health care providers, health plans, and health care

clearing houses. In addition small plans had until April 14, 2004, to comply with

this act. Most felt that this act was set in place to restore confidence that the

sensitive medical information (data) of clients and patients was a matter kept

between a individual and their doctor, but many are disappointed to find out that

the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was designed to set a

standard for privacy of information in today¶s electronic technology age for the up

and coming of all health data becoming electronic records. These laws vary from

state to state so if a person wanted to find out the pacific¶s of their state¶s law

they would need to contact or look in to that states privacy law act. One good

thing about this law is that the organization must let you know how and who your

information is being given to and for what purpose. There are many ways to go

about finding reliable resources regarding the HIPAA Law one way is through the

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) OF 1996, or human

resources department were a person works at or through Privacy Rights

Clearinghouse. The purpose of this law is to protect the community patient and

clients rights to privacy as well as to improve the efficiently of the healthcare


systems by establishing standards for the electronic exchange of health

information. HIPAA applies to health care clearing houses, and health care

provides that transmit any health information in electronic form. The Department

of Health and Human Services (HHS) has responsibility for administering and

enforcing the Act, which means they are able to provide the information needed

to determine if there is a violation or if someone is in violation of any parts of the

HIPAA Law, most of this is able to be done using technology. The Health and

Insurance Portability and Accountability Act law touches on privacy issues by the

means of Administrative simplification, which calls for use of the same computer

language industry wide; privacy protection which requires healthcare providers to

take reasonable measures towards guarding/protecting patient and clients rights

and like; written, electronic information, and oral. Congress passed this law to

help aide the effort of protecting the security and privacy of individual identifiable

health information. Lawmakers sought to reduce the administrative burden and

cost associated with healthcare; this was done by standardizing data and

facilitating transmission of several financial and administrative transactions.

Lawmakers for the HIPAA saw this new regulation as a means to save

healthcare industries money and help in providing improved security of patients

and clients information and allowing patient/clients better access to their own

records and information. The HIPAA law affects day to day operations within

human services According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (2003-2010), "[HIPAA

touches on privacy in small ways like routine office visits, prescriptions, refills,

and messages left on voice mail systems. This is a partial list of day to day

situations come into play.]´ (10, para.). The HIPAA law also comes into play in

the following: Individuals being able to make special requests to be called for

appointment reminders or to discuss an individual¶s treatment plan at certain

numbers, healthcare providers should be careful of what and how much

information is left on patients¶ voice mail systems, medical records can be faxed

from one doctor to another, someone else is able to pick up a person¶s

prescription with that individuals permission, doctors can prescribe medication

without a face to face visit, and pharmacists¶ can talk to a individual over the

counter regarding their medication, but must take care that others around them

or near do not hear the conversation, and medical files can be left outside the

examining room, but should always be turned facing the wall or door. An

argument that was made against the HIPAA Law came from doctors arguing that

the privacy law actually allows the wrong people access to medical files like

insurance companies, this brought about a law suit in Philadelphia, were patient

advocacy groups are displeased with the new law. [Doctor Groups are up in arms

over the legislation, saying it keeps them from freely communicating with their

patients and from efficiently partnering with other physicians to maximize patient

care] (Reaves, 2010). On October 31, 2005, third circuit rejected the challenge

by the patient advocacy groups to rule a promulgated under the Health Insurance

Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The court made it clear that they

rejected the argument, HIPAA may have be implemented in a manner that places

reasonable limits on the privacy protections available under law. The courts also

expressed noted that the objective of protecting patients¶ privacy must be fair and

balanced against the statutes of other legitimate goals. Potential ramifications for

clients and the organization if the HIPAA Laws are not followed are fines, loss of

patient/clients trust and or business, and possible jail time for organization

members/groups who violate this Act, if jail time is given then that person is held

responsible for the organization or company¶s fraudulent acts. As for clients it can

cause a loss of respect from the community, business partners, family and

friends, embarrassment, and or loss of fair health care coverage. My

recommendation would be to just simply follow the rules, procedures, and

regulations regarding the HIPAA, and common sense should tell any adult that

discussing a person¶s personal life and or information is not right and one should

keep in mind how would they feel if their information and or life were the bases of

stranger¶s conversation. In conclusion the privacy act should be looked at as a

safe guard for patients, clients, employees, and employers.ccc

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. (2003-2010). HIPAA Basics: Medical privacy in the electronic
age. Retrieved August 8, 2010, from' ' 

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