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HIPAA. The Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA History and Objectives. Improve the efficiency of the health care system. Reduce the overall cost of health care and therefore the federal government’s future liability.

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The Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act of 1996

Hipaa history and objectives

HIPAA History and Objectives

  • Improve the efficiency of the health care system.

  • Reduce the overall cost of health care and therefore the federal government’s future liability.

  • Protect the Privacy and Security of Individual’s health care information by setting “Standards” and “requirements”.

  • Standardize and automate – increased enabling of fraud and abuse monitoring and enforcement.

  • Eliminate pervasive Medicare fraud and abuse.

Hipaa major rules

HIPAA Major Rules

  • Transaction Code Sets

    Standard code sets are required for selected data elements in more than one of the electronic transaction standards. Electronic transaction include transactions using ANY media, even when information is physically moved from one location to another using diskette, tape or CD media.

    2. Privacy Rule

    Defines who is authorized to access information. It is the right of individuals to keep information about themselves from being disclosed.

  • Security Rule

    The ability to control access and protect information from accidental or intentional disclosure to unauthorized persons and from alteration, destruction or loss. This is the implementation of the Privacy Rules.

Protected health information phi

Protected Health InformationPHI

  • Any information that identifies individual or gives a reasonable basis in identifying the individual must be protected.

  • Covers all forms of information.

  • Covers names, telephone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses, social security numbers, photographs, geographical identifier smaller than state and any date element such as birth date or service discharge date.

The individual s rights

The Individual’s Rights

  • Right to access, inspect and get a copy of their own information.

  • Right to request amendment or correction of information.

  • Right to have written notice of information practices and receive accounting of disclosures.

Hipaa rule s and guidelines

HIPAA Rule’s and Guidelines

  • Transaction and Code Sets

    Fully effective October 16, 2003.

  • Privacy Standards for Individually Identifiable health Information

    Fully effective April 14, 2003

  • Security Standards

    Fully effective date for compliance enforcement Fall 2004

Who must comply with hipaa

Who must comply with HIPAA?

  • All direct and indirect providers of health care services and supplies;

    direct providers like hospitals

    indirect providers like laboratories


    any entity transmitting health information in electronic form.

Who is not required to follow hippa rules

Who is not required to follow HIPPA Rules?

  • Life Insurance Programs

  • Worker Compensation Programs

  • Property & casualty insurance programs

  • Disability insurance programs

  • Other non-health insurance programs

Federal civil criminal penalties for violation of patient s right to privacy

Federal Civil & Criminal Penalties for Violation of Patient’s Right to Privacy.

  • Civil Monetary Penalties – non-criminal violations, including disclosures made in error- not intent to violate.

    $100 per violation up to $25,000 per year/standard/individual.

  • Criminal Penalties – “knowingly” violating.

    Up to $50,000 & 1 year imprisonment for obtaining or disclosing PHI.

    Up to $100,000 & up to 5 years imprisonment for obtaining or disclosing PHI under “false pretenses”.

    Up to $250,000 & 10 years imprisonment for obtaining PHI with the intent to sell, transfer, or use for commercial advantage, personal gain, or malicious harm.

Who police s hipaa

Who Police’s HIPAA ?

  • Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health & Human Services.

  • Covered Entities provide records and compliance reports.

  • Any person may file a complaint with the Department of Health & Human Services.

  • Whistleblower provisions.

Who are the hipaa whistleblowers


Your patient relations

Your Patient Relations

  • Patients are your whistle blowers

Provide notice of policies procedures in patient privacy

Provide Notice of Policies & Procedures in Patient Privacy

  • To anyone who asks for it

  • Read or pickup at office

  • Accessible on Web sites

  • Health plans provide notice at enrollment or notice of availability

  • First Treatment Service with individuals written acknowledgement of receipt

  • Consent and acknowledgement on one form

  • Email notice of Policy and Procedures

Reasonable safeguards

Reasonable Safeguards

  • Speak quietly

  • Avoid using patient names in public hallways and elevators and posting signs to remind employees to protect patient

  • Lock or isolate patient records in file cabinets or records rooms

  • Passwords on computer systems

Concerns of hipaa investigators

Concerns of HIPAA Investigators

  • “Incidental disclosures”

  • Handling in office records or computer screens

  • Faxing of records

    • Loss of control

  • Transfer of records via email / computer encription

  • Covered Entitiy ignoring HIPAA compliance standards

Release of information roi

Release of Information ROI

  • Within the patient – provider relationship, health professionals have a legal, ethical and moral obligation to protect confidential information

What is confidential

What is Confidential?

  • Is there a professional patient –provider relationship?

  • Was the information exchanged within this relationship?

  • Is the information needed to diagnose or treat the patient?

What is not confidential

What is Not Confidential?

  • Patient name

  • Address

  • DOB

  • Insurer

  • Next of Kin

  • Not confidential but private!

Need to know

Need to Know

  • Users may be authorized to see the record

  • Should have a clear “need to know” to have access

Record ownership

Record Ownership

  • Provider owns the record – whatever physical form it’s kept in

    • Record is maintained for benefit of patient

    • Documents service and standard of care

  • Patient owns the information – has right to control it’s flow

  • Those who violate this right may be held liable to the patient

Personal and impersonal use

Personal and Impersonal Use

  • Confidentiality belongs to the person – not to the information

  • Personal – Uses which depend on individual identity, such as patient care, insurance claims and legal action

  • Impersonal – uses which are independent to personal identity; program evaluation , statistical report and/or research

Valid authorization

Valid Authorization

  • Requests in writing

  • Addressed to provider

  • Specific name, address and DOB

  • Specifies information requested

  • Specific dates of service

  • Indicates reason information is needed

  • Date event or condition of expiration

  • Signed by patient or legal representative & relationship

  • WHEN IN DOUBT< DON’T GIVE IT OUT, seek advice

Valid release process

Valid Release Process

  • Locate documents/chart

  • Match the signature for validation

  • Calculate charges

  • Make copy

  • Add cover letter, stress confidentiality/ Return receipt if necessary

  • Mail and log it

Telephone and fax roi

Telephone and Fax (ROI)

  • Discouraged but may be necessary

  • Caller name and number

  • Reason information is needed

  • Information requested

  • Special authorizations

Telephone and fax roi1

Telephone and Fax (ROI)

  • Call backs

  • Fax with cover sheet with confidentiality statement

  • Call and confirm that fax is attended

  • Document request and release in log and patient chart



  • Patient

  • Attorney

  • Failure to release may result in legal action

  • Subpoena



  • Be alert!

  • Information may be released in unanticipated ways

  • Be cautious who can see computer screens , schedules , copiers, fax machines and who may over hear your conversations

What do you think

What DO You Think?

  • One patient overhearing patient health information laden conversation in an adjoining room between doctor and patient.



  • “we don’t need to rebuild our offices only to create a private , soundproof room,” reports the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (December 2003)

  • Figure out in your office what “reasonable safeguards

  • Keep Your Staff AWARE!!



  • A patient overhears the receptionist and technician making unkind comments about the waist measurement of another patient



  • This is not incidental disclosure. Even if individuals were making kind or flattering comments about a patient’s waistline, it would still be inappropriate disclosure…

    • Gwen Hughes, Care Communications, Chicago Ill.



  • A bartender overhears an office assistant telling another assistant about the famous actor that she had as a patient



  • This is an inappropriate disclosure. Personal discussions of patients should not take place in or especially out of the office.

    • Gwen Hughes, Care Communications, Chicago Ill.

5 step check list


  • Notice of Privacy Policies and Procedures available

  • Make sure patients can assert their privacy rights

  • Keep staff trained (Part time and Full time and NEW STAFF)

  • Encourage ongoing awareness and possible Incidental Disclosure events

  • Protect the handling of your records

True professionals are and should be held accountable for their actions c bruce

“True Professionals Are And Should Be Held Accountable For Their Actions”C. Bruce

Ten commandments of hipaa

Ten Commandments of HIPAA

  • Thou shalt accurately capture, code and bill for services.

  • Thou shalt honor the Privacy & Security of all patient information that is ethically, morally, and legally required of every workforce member as a part of their job description & as a condition of employment/service.

Ten commandments of hipaa1

Ten Commandments of HIPAA

  • Thou shalt treat all patient information, in any form, as “PHI”.

  • Thou shalt access & use patient information on a “need to know” basis only – idle curiosity is a sin and illegal.

  • Thou shalt not discuss patients unless it is necessary for treatment, payment, or the operation of the organization – otherwise it is gossip and wrong.

Ten commandments of hipaa2

Ten Commandments of HIPAA

  • Thou shalt not disclose individually identifiable patient information as it is is a crime, punishable by civil and criminal penalties.

  • Thou shalt discuss patient information only in a private setting.

  • Thou shalt not share user ID’s, passwords, combinations, etc.

Ten commandments of hipaa3

Ten Commandments of HIPAA

  • Thou shalt keep paper patient records out of sight of unauthorized persons, including workforce members.

  • Thou shalt report something or someone’s actions that look questionable, as if it seems wrong it probably is. Most compliance is common sense.

What does this mean to me as a vision care technology student at scc

What does this mean to me as a Vision Care Technology Student at SCC?

  • All patient information is private and not to be discussed outside of a classroom situation.

  • Disposal of surgery schedules will follow my clinical guidelines for disposal.

  • Transferring any patient information will not be done.

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