The HITECH Act (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) was created to promote the need for health information technology as the use of EHRS (electronic health records) becomes the standard. It is part of an economic stimulus package – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – that was passed and signed into law in 2009.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Act (HITECH) focuses on the transition of paper healthcare files to electronic reports, making it easier for patients to access their records. The act also covers protected health information (PHI) by requiring healthcare organizations and their third-party associates to be HIPAA compliant. Prior to the HITECH Act healthcare organizations could avoid fines due to non-compliance but this has changed. Now, organizations and their third-party associates are required under the HITECH Act to meet all HIPAA compliance rules.
The HITECH Act changed how patient health information is processed and stored. It encourages healthcare organizations to transition from paper to electronic files allowing patients to access their records in a secure online environment. It also affected HIPAA and how its rules are enforced. In short, the HITECH Act benefited patients by making it easier for them to access their records while improving and enforcing security protocols.
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.
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.
2019 seems to be the year of information breaches. 2019 is reaching the fourth quarter soon, but this year has already seen at least 25 million patient records breached; this is a staggering ten million more than in 2018.
The breaches seem to be getting larger as well according to the ten biggest healthcare data breaches, with more than 200,000 records breached at a time. Additionally, not all healthcare companies are reporting the breaches in a timely manner as required by law.
How can you establish trust as a healthcare provider or entity that safeguards patient data?
When you’re sick and at the doctor’s office, you have to reveal a lot of personal information for the physician to properly treat you. Within your file contains your demographic information, your personal medical history, mental health, tests and lab results, insurance information, and more. All of this falls under a specific category called protected health information (PHI).
In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in order to protect patients’ PHI. Privacy and security weren’t the only topics covered in HIPAA. It also addressed health insurance prices and changes, encouraged the use of electronic health records (EHRs), and developed the groundwork for a national healthcare standard.
HIPAA was amended — rather, bolstered — in 2009, when Congress passed the HITECH Act. It addressed many of the problems arising from HIPAA and helped bring the framework into the 21st century. It also brought with it harsher penalties for HIPAA noncompliance. To avoid these fees, healthcare providers and their business associates must understand the HITECH Act penalties and enforcement.
From 1996 to 2009, U.S. healthcare organizations operated under a strict regulatory act known as HIPAA. HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, intended to protect patient health data, make health insurance affordable, and to simplify hospital administrative procedures.
As the years progressed, loopholes arose, electronic systems (which were supposed to be incorporated) were ignored, and the U.S. healthcare infrastructure was in jeopardy of falling behind. Not to say that HIPAA was a failure, but after 13 years in operation, it was in desperate need of an update. In 2009, Congress passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) to give HIPAA the update it needed. HITECH closed loopholes and encouraged the adoption of electronic health records by enforcing stricter guidelines and increasingly high noncompliance fees.
Now, to avoid facing penalties, healthcare providers and subsidiary companies must be HITECH compliant. But what does that entail? Read ahead to find out.
Over the past three decades, America has been transformed by revolutionary technologies such as the internet, PC, laptop, and mobile phone. New tech ushered the world into the Information Age, creating a paradigm shift in how data and information could be logged, stored, and shared. This change completely altered the face of the American economy; and in the space of a few years, digital electronics became an essential facet of business life.
Few industries were as fundamentally impacted by this shift as the healthcare industry. Seeing this, the U.S. government created security measures to protect private electronic patient info. They started with HIPAA in 1996, which then received a much-needed update more than a decade later with the HITECH Act. Naturally, you might wonder, how does HITECH affect HIPAA? Below, we’ll answer that question and others related to both information security regulations.
When asked about the Obama administration’s efforts to reform the American healthcare system, most people will think of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” Many forget or fail to realize that a year prior to the ACA’s creation, Congress had already passed the largest healthcare reform measure in decades in the form of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH).
One of the reasons why HITECH’s addition went mostly unnoticed and unremarked is that it was a subsection of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Few realized that this stimulus package introduced sweeping changes to the healthcare industry that had far-ranging impacts on the relationship between patients and providers, especially pertaining to healthcare provider treatment of private health information.
Do you want to know what is HITECH in healthcare and how it protects your private information? Read on to find out.