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These days most of the employees have great concerns about their health and confidentiality of personal information. HIPPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act was created as a nationwide rule to be implemented in all the hospitals, offices of doctors and inside diverse companies in which individual information pertaining to medical discipline needs to be kept safe. Other than securing medical information of a person, HIPPA as well facilitates the people to view and scrutinize their personal medical reports. The people can also demand for correction if any information is found to be wrong (HIPPA privacy rule, 2017).
This paper highlights some of the major aspects of HIPPA, its applications in various domains, its rules and regulations that companies must follow regarding private or confidential information of patients.
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Significance of HIPPA
HIPPA was passed on 21st August, 1996. HIPPA offers extensive health insurance benefits for employees in addition to their family unit in circumstances when they leave or alter their occupation. The main purpose of HIPPA is to facilitate the individuals to have health insurance benefits, ensure the safety and privacy of their personal medical information. This tactic as well effectively handles the outlay of organization. Here, an interesting question arises that why this act is vital to American people? Large group of people think that their health information is secret and it should be kept secure, furthermore one should always know that who can have access to this information nationwide (daniele, 2015).
Privacy Rights Offered by HIPPA
The national regulation grants people considerable privileges regarding their private health related data as well as it also defines policies concerning who can view and collect people private data. Effective implementation of this national regulation can be enforced to keep people health related information safe. This information can be in the form of electronic or printed medical cure. A large number of people consider it very vital because no one wants to share his/her personal data and information to the public.
The HIPPA has its significance as it defines the laws regarding who can use your healthcare information and for what purpose your information be used. A legitimate motive should always be there to see someone’s health related information. HIPPA offers secrecy in this respect. This law too offers protection in favor of small and enterprise level companies. This law prohibits anyone to view any company workers data and health related without any appropriate cause (daniele, 2015).
Benefits of HIPPA
HIPAA offers the following benefits:
- It offers the facility to large number of employees to avail health in case of leaving or changing their professions.
- It proficiently reduces health information related scam and maltreatment;
- It defines the rules for exploitation of healthcare data of people on electronic transactions and other activities
- It offers effective management of healthcare information of individuals and ensures confidentiality and safety (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 2017).
Domains Affected By HIPPA
Issues regarding medical health information protection were key factors for which HIPPA was created. The rules for privacy clarified that how given workers as well as managers react while applying or revealing personal information. HIPPA is managed by the United States Department regarding Health and Human Services (HHS) agency for Civil Rights of people.
The facility of ambulance offers health related services. The transmission of patient’s health data by an ambulance can be done electronically like sending an invoice to Health Company, is regarded as covered entity or CE.
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Considering the EMS field the similar rules are applied. HIPAA has provided nationwide prospects to EMS department regarding confidentiality of patient health information (Wisconsin, 2016).
HIPPA Rules for EMS
HIPPA limits the sharing of confidential data of patients to just those individuals having legal awareness, like healthcare experts who are effectively treating the patients. Healthcare experts of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) can also utilize this information for electronic activities and improving the quality of treatment. For EMS professionals, this information offers a handy tactic for guidance of experts to achieve optimal results in health related issues, only if the patients’ confidential data on his/her will is confiscated.
HIPPA as well emphasizes the appointment of information privacy official for healthcare units together with EMS. Protection and confidentiality of patient information is the core task of privacy official. Privacy official will also offer educational programs for workers who are practicing security policies with the organization (Richard Beebe, 2010).
Effects of HIPPA on EMS Department
The majority of Emergency Medical Service based agencies are classified as 3rd group as they carry out these type of electronic communication like a record to be maintained. In addition, almost all EMS companies will be considered as covered entities or CEs by 16th October, 2013 as innovative rules and regulations that entails overall businesses to transmit Medicare bill by electronic means will go into operation. Exceptions also exist in regulations, however intrinsically it explains that if any individual needs cash benefits as of Medicare services, he/she has to transfer invoice by electronic means. Moreover, when an individual performs electronic transaction, which may be regarded as covered one, like a healthcare service company, classifies an individual as CE.
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Explicitly stating, when an entity has a fire department that offers EMS based functions and generates invoices of Medicare on the papers printed, according to HIPPA they would not be considered as covered entity, however when Medicare invoice is transferred by electronic means from a certain date, say 20th of October, then it will be considered as covered entity (CE) as of the date specified. however when an EMS unit needs to know that they are classified as covered entity, then they are required to consider all the vital points of regulations; nearly all would not be a healthcare units, although some EMS providers belong to metropolitan administration entities and regarded as CEs since they fulfill the criteria of a healthcare rules and regulations. Hence when an organization offers healthcare policy like a benefit package to the employees, that may be across the state or metropolitan area, the EMS Company then falls into the category of covered entity or CE (West, 2003).
HIPPA has also shown great impacts on EMS due to the following reasons:
- It ensures than Emergency Medical Services based organization must as well facilitate every patient of their privacy and confidential data.
- It defines rules and laws that considerably impact of how an EMS staff is responsible to exploit as well as transmission of patient personal data.
- HIPPA necessitates EMS based department to engage a privacy official of patients as well as facilitate in effective implementation of SOPs for the workers.
- Each EMS organization is bound to conform to HIPAA regulations for effective handling and sharing of personal confidential information.
- HIPAA as well put great emphasis on the education of EMS workers besides executive level employees.
- HIPPS rules are mandatory for EMS department as well as staff to observe while treating patients, when billing electronically, or sharing information to the experts.
- EMS department must adhere to HIPAA rules since they are bound to inform the patients well in time about their privacy and confidentiality of personal data ( Quizlet Inc., 2017).
This paper has highlighted HIPPA, its importance for different domains along with the domains that are affected by this law, benefits that HIPPA offers to people and EMS based organizations. This paper has also highlighted rules of HIPPA for EMS department. In future, it is expected that these rule intended to secure private data as well as information of individuals, and data captured and utilized for medical record purpose will be complied across the state.
- Quizlet Inc. (2017, March 16). EMT terms: Week one. Retrieved March 18, 2017, from quizlet.com: https://quizlet.com/117215741/emt-terms-week-one-flash-cards/
- daniele. (2015, March 20). What is HIPPA and why is it important? Retrieved March 17, 2017, from answerforsmith.com: http://www.answerfortsmith.com/node/22
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. (2017, March 10). Retrieved March 17, 2017, from http://www.dhcs.ca.gov: http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/formsandpubs/laws/hipaa/Pages/1.00WhatisHIPAA.aspx
- HIPPA privacy rule. (2017, March 16). Retrieved March 17, 2017, from www.nessdictionary.com: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/HIPPA-privacy-rule.html
- Richard Beebe, J. M. (2010). Professional Paramedic, Volume I: Foundations of Paramedic Care. Clifton Park: Delmar, Cengage Learning.
- West, P. (2003, April 24). FAQs for HIPAA Compliance. Retrieved March 17, 2017, from http://www.emsworld.com: http://www.emsworld.com/news/10341944/faqs-for-hipaa-compliance
- Wisconsin. (2016, September 02). EMS and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule – Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved March 17, 2017, from www.dhs.wisconsin.gov: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/ems/hipaa.htm