HIPAA and PIPEDA represent two initiatives wherein lawmakers require organizations to exercise greater stewardship of consumer medical information. In fact, inexperienced IT managers occasionally confuse the contents of these two pieces of North American legislation.
HIPAA / Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry has come a long way in improving patient care. Lifesaving instruments such as pacemakers and insulin pumps are now combined with connectivity. Remote monitoring by a health professional can track dramatic spikes in a patient’s heart rhythms. An alert is then sent to a physician for preventative measures. It’s a lot better than repairing damage after the fact.
“PCI” stands for “payment card industry,” commonly associated with the longer-named Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This is a set of rules that outlines the accepted security standards for credit and debit cards, whether they’re used online or in person.
When it was first created, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability [HIPAA] Act was enacted in order to safeguard a patient’s protected health information [PHI]. Over the years, the policy has evolved so that both covered entities and business associates are beholden to the rules and regulations mandated via HIPAA. However, even the businesses outside of that specific purview should be aware of HIPAA’s rules and act in accordance, particularly since all employers will possess at least some employee PHI.
Violations of HIPAA can result in serious legal ramifications to both your business and any employees who are found guilty of such breaches. Therefore, it’s essential that your HR team is trained in HIPAA compliance procedures and protocols, especially if you’re a covered entity or business associate. Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about HIPAA and HIPAA training for HR professionals.
In 2009, the Obama administration announced the release of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The stimulus bill covered a broad swath of policy meant to jumpstart American industry in the wake of the Great Recession. In addition, President Obama saw this as a mechanism for revising Clinton’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) Act of 1996. To that end, he introduced the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.
The fundamental purpose of HITECH was to push the American healthcare industry into the digital age and to better protect patient’s privacy and security with regards to their confidential patient information. But that’s not all this bill sought to bring to pass. Below, discover the main objectives and goals of HITECH.
Read on to find out.
What Is Considered PHI (Protected Health Information)?
When you walk into any hospital or private doctor’s office, you’re immediately bombarded by a list of questions. These range from personal questions about your lifestyle and medical history to private questions about your address, insurance, and other information you don’t want to be disclosed. You’d hope, being that there’s a notion of doctor-patient confidentiality, that all this information is handed over in confidence.
And it is. According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), all this information constitutes protected health information (PHI). The release of vital patient details breaks HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules — thus inciting fees and penalties for the healthcare entity.
Some questions to consider when reading ahead: How was this system set up? What is protected health information? And how can healthcare organizations and their business associates offer their patients security and avoid penalties under HIPAA?
When ensuring HIPAA compliance, it is vital to understand what is considered PHI, or Protected Health Information under HIPAA. Where HIPAA is concerned, it is essential that your patient private information, or PPI, is safe and secure. Read on to find out what counts as PHI under HIPAA so you can remain compliant and protect your patients.
In recent decades, public health agencies and public schools have worked hand in glove, sharing health information about students in order to better understand the broader picture of teens’ overall health. In addition, schools have increasingly sought to give their students more and better health services. Seeing as schools may keep or request sensitive health information from the students or parents, it’s natural to wonder what laws cover the security and privacy of these documents.
These days, there are two major privacy laws – HIPAA and FERPA – that may or may not cover a student’s health records. Naturally, whether they do or don’t depends on your particular situation. That said, this article will attempt to wade the convoluted mire, illuminating you as to the differences between FERPA vs. HIPAA. Keep reading to discover more!
Although HIPAA has been impacting the healthcare industry since the late ’90s, far too many businesses still struggle to comply with the various facets of the law. One particular area of weakness for covered entities involves the protection of their patients’ protected health information [PHI]. Time and again, they fail to adequately safeguard the personally identifiable information that has been entrusted to their keeping. Naturally, such lax defenses can result in a host of issues such as data theft, fraud, loss of client trust, fines, and even jail time.
Over the years, one of the main causes of noncompliance with HIPAA is the result of human error. In most cases, employees unknowingly open up the floodgates to prying eyes or cybercriminals due to a simple lack of understanding, education, or forethought. Although such actions are rarely malicious, ignorance is not an excuse readily accepted by Health and Human Services [HHS]. Therefore, it’s crucial that you ensure that your team members are complying with the rules and regulations of HIPAA.
Check out our HIPAA guidelines for employees here!
A new technological era is upon us. Over the last 25 years, the meteoric rise of computers, smartphones, and other electronic devices have infused our world with a new sense of possibility. With it comes the need for higher security measures and data protection. That holds double for the healthcare industry.
With the type of information stored away in electronic health records (EHRs), healthcare organizations have a responsibility to secure the sensitive information provided by their patients. And according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), signed into law in 1996, they do. It’s called protected health information (PHI).
But what is protected health information? And how does it differ from consumer health information (CHI), another term thrown around the health-tech sector? For everything you need to know, read ahead.