Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Name Institution Instructor Course Date Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is an Act that was enacted by the United States Congress in 1996 to determine how patient information should be managed and stored (Purtilo, 2011). This is aimed at protecting patients by ensuring that sensitive patient information is safe and prevents fraud and theft of this information. Only authorized individuals are able to access protected healthcare information (Purtilo, 2011). This act also provides guidelines on how this information should be transmitted by a healthcare provider as well as a health insurance provider using different forms of media. This act impacts the healthcare in different aspects which include the healthcare insurance system and those responsible for providing healthcare services (Purtilo, 2011). Individuals are protected from a loss of insurance coverage in between jobs, which was a common thing before this act was implemented.
HIPAA positively impacted healthcare organizations as organizations are able to change from the traditional paper records to the current electronic record keeping (Krager & Krager, 2017). This has led to improvement in healthcare administrative functions as well as healthcare efficiency, which is important in achieving healthcare goals. Electronic transactions ensure that everyone involved in the provision of healthcare has the same information, which is necessary for improving effectiveness in different areas in the healthcare system (Krager & Krager, 2017). Storing patient information is also important with healthcare organizations facing lawsuits and other negative consequences for lost or leaked private patient information. However, HIPAA has ensured that this information is securely stored and shared. Patients also benefit from this act, as their private information is securely stored (Krager & Krager, 2017).
Under the HIPAA, patients have different rights to privacy, which include the right to receive a notice of privacy practices, which includes the use and sharing of sensitive patient information (Carter, 2017). This allows the patient to authorize and give the organization the permission to use and access this information. Another right, which patients have, is the right to access protected health information relating to him/her (Carter, 2017). The patient can be able to access a copy of medical records for any of the medical ailments except some of the legally protected records. The patient has also the right to amend protected health information. This involves making changes to protected health information (Carter, 2017). However, this right can be denied based on some of the conditions, which may prevent the amending of this information.
Patients have also the right to request for special privacy protection of protected health information from certain insurers or other sources (Carter, 2017). This may be due to some reasons, which may justify the request. In this case, the patient may restrict the use and access to his/her health information. Another right, which the patient has, is the right to an accounting of disclosures (Carter, 2017). This involves determining what information and how much should be included in an accounting disclosure. The last right that a patient has is the right to request for a specific communication method. This allows the patient to choose what means of communication that the patient prefers which may include telephone calls or emails (Carter, 2017).
References
Carter, P. I. (2017). HIPAA compliance handbook. New York: Wolters Kluwer.

Krager, D., & Krager, C. (2017). HIPAA for health care professionals. Australia: Delmar Cengage Learning.

Purtilo, R. B. (2011). Dimensions in the health professions (5th ed.).  St. Louis Missouri: Saunders.