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Significance of Complying with HIPAA and HITECH Act

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					Significance of Complying with HIPAA and HITECH Act


                                       The Health Information Technology for Economic and
                                       Clinical Health Act or the HITECH Act is part of the
                                       American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
                                       (ARRA). ARRA contains incentives related to health
care information technology in general and contains specific incentives designed to
accelerate the adoption of electronic health record (EHR) systems among providers.

This legislation anticipates a substantial expansion in the exchange of electronic protected
health information (ePHI), the HITECH ACT also widens the scope of privacy and security
protections available under HIPAA as it increases the potential legal liability for non-
compliance and it provides for more enforcement.

Significance of HIPAA

Better known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPAA law was
initiated to achieve consumer protection in 1996. The law caters to the multitude of problems
that are often faced by patients when seeking medical treatment at the various different
healthcare units. To ensure an all encompassing public welfare and healthcare compliance, the
American administration has devised HIPAA. Besides offering safeguard to customers from
theft, financial scams, fake transactions, HIPAA also prevents exploitation or injustice done to
customers while they are opting for healthcare facilities or for certain policies.


HIPAA basically maintains a track record of one’s social security number, date of birth, address
of correspondence, and information regarding healthcare. It documents all the preceding case
histories of illness and the various kinds of treatment that was offered to the patient at that
point of time. There is also an account of the expenses that were incurred apart from this.

A personal healthcare record needs to be maintained, as a typical situation at healthcare
centers and hospitals is that a single patient is often diagnosed by more than one doctor. The
data cataloguing techniques are getting altered every alternate day with advancement in
technology. Files must exist in a methodical fashion to circumvent confusion as the case history
of a patient gets circulated from one medical department to another. HIPAA might not be able
to help you safeguard your interests, if your previous personal treatment details do not come in
handy.
The Importance of Complying with the HITECH Act

The HITECH ACT took effect in 2010, though it was signed
in 2009. HITECH encourages the adoption and meaningful
use of technology pertaining to health information. It
strengthens civil and criminal enforcement of the existing
HIPAA rules and regulations and for those not dealing with
the electronic transmission of health information
properly; HITECH Act paves the road for serious
consequences

Monetary fines under the HITECH Act are structured on
levels which escalate in proportion to the violations by the
offender. Based on the nature and the extent of the
violation and the nature and the extent of the harm resulting from the violation, the penalties
are decided. The penalties are decided based on the nature and the extent of the violation and
the nature and the extent of the harm resulting from the violation. The reputation of the
company can also be seriously hampered besides the monetary loss.

A company can ensure compliance by either hiring an attorney to help guide you through the
compliance or have a consultant visit your facility or purchase software other such compliance
tools to guide you through the process. Irrespective of what is chosen it is vital to ensure that
staff dealing with patients or clients is trained in a uniform, facility specific, HIPAA compliance
procedure. Although cumbersome, taking the time and making the investment to insure HIPAA
and hitech compliance has its dividends if the Department of Health and Human Services or the
Department of Justice ever decides to pay a visit.

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Description: Better known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPAA law was initiated to achieve consumer protection in 1996. The law caters to the multitude of problems that are often faced by patients when seeking medical treatment at the various different healthcare units.