Health Insurance

Health Insurance

HealthInsurance

Abstract

Inan attempt to improve the Medicare system the Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed in 1996 byCongress. Since then, HIPAA has aimed at transferring and continuinghealth insurance coverage for millions of people. Some of the keyaspects of HIPAA include privacy program, patient rights, securitysafeguards and state law.

Keywords:HIPPA, privacy, security, health insurance.

Thereis a growing number of data breaches, and this necessitates the needto protect personal health information from larceny. As of January2013, reported breach occurrences due to theft were more than 274.These accounted for an estimated 52 percent of total incidents. WithHIPAA, health insurance is expected to be better in the future due toits set standards (Solove,2013,p. 24).This paper will address factors such as cost, aging and fraud inconnection to HIPAA.

Costand Funding

Itwas the thoughts of many that HIPAA would send the healthcareindustry into bankruptcy or even paralyse it. Far from thisassumption, the industry has seen the benefits of code set standardssince electronic transactions have since become easy (Solove,2013,p. 24).Consumers have also benefited through greater access to qualitymedical care.

Agingpopulation

HIPAAhas been misinterpreted as creating a communication barrier to peoplewho have a lifelong relationship with the elderly patients. This is,however, not the case as the privacy rule permits the coveredentities to make available any information that is relevant to theinvolvement of a family member in the patient’s care (Solove,2013,p. 25).

Fraudand Abuse

Tomeet the HIPAA standards, the HITECH Act introduced a strongerenforcement arm to its privacy and security rules. This resulted inover $14m in monetary penalties and resolution amounts (Solove,2013,p. 24).So as to increase public transparency and the accountability ofentities involved, tools such as audit and more importantly breachnotification have been introduced. When it comes to patients, healthcare delivery has been reinvented where patients can directly managetheir treatment. It is important for the industry to embrace theculture of conformity to win the trust and confidence of patients andthe public in general.

HIPAAstandards

Thesestandards are aimed at providing a scalable framework that isflexible to ensure that all the organizations across the industryachieve conformity. All the covered entities are required to providea privacy official to implement and develop policies for protectingprivacy and handling complaints (Solove,2013,p. 26).The standards also require that people authorise the disclosure oftheir personal health information. The requirement aims at providinga set of rights to patients that protect them against privacyviolation.

Conclusion

Thefact that the healthcare environment is ever changing proves that theimplementation of HIPAA takes time. Since it is a continuous process,its reassessment is necessary to make sure it works optimally at alltimes and thus improve the Medicare system.

References

Solove, D. (2013). HIPAA turns 10: Analysing the past, present, and future impact. Journal of AHIMA, 84(4), 22-28.