Government in Health Information System Regulation

The present paper is devoted to a review of the role of the government in the development of healthcare legislation, and it argues that the government plays the central part in the process. Since healthcare regulations ensure the protection of health information (Brodnik, 2013), the understanding of the law and the role of the government in the development of relevant legislation appears to be required for appropriate health information management decisions.

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The sources of the law are multiple, and they include the Constitutions (the federal one and those of the states), statutes, the administrative law (Rinehart-Thompson, 2013), and “court decisions” (Sattler, 2017, pp. 107-108). The latter constitute the case law.

Therefore, it is apparent that the judiciary plays a role in producing healthcare-related legislation through the case (common) law (Rinehart-Thompson, 2013, p. 24). Statues are generated by the legislative branch; in the US, the US Congress is entrusted with this type of law enactment (Rinehart-Thompson, 2013, p. 23). The executive branch “is charged with enforcing laws,” which typically involves the development of rules and regulations that are classified as the administrative law (Rinehart-Thompson, 2013, p. 22). Thus, all the three branches are directly involved in the production of the legislation that can be relevant for health information managers (Sattler, 2017, p. 107).

State laws can sometimes conflict, for example, if a case involves participants from different states. In the US, the Federal law is regarded as the prevailing law due to the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution (Rinehart-Thompson, 2013, p. 22). As a result, it can be used to settle any conflicts between the legislations of the country, which makes this part of the US legislation particularly important to study.

Indeed, healthcare professionals must abide by the law, which is why they need to be educated on it (Brodnik, 2013). Apart from that, the role of the regulations is two-fold: they can both facilitate and hinder the development of healthcare. For example, Guy Collier states that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is absolutely necessary for the protection of patients, but he still acknowledges its drawbacks, especially the added costs, which is a significant issue in the context of the US healthcare (Health Information and the Law – HealthInfoLaw.org, 2015).

However, Collier points out that problematic legislation can be improved and revised; it can be suggested that this process is likely to require the cooperation of the government with healthcare specialists. As a result, the engagement of healthcare professionals in the review and assessment of existing legislation is rather desirable, which highlights the significance of educating them in the field on the law.

For example, all the discussed information is rather important for a health information specialists because the legislation on health information management directly governs their activities. For example, health records can be subject to subpoenas (Hunter, 2013), but not every subpoena can be assumed to require the release of health information.

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To avoid wrongful disclosure and related legal issues (Rinehart-Thompson, 2013), a health information manager must not make such assumptions and should develop a more critical approach to subpoenas, which is impossible without the knowledge of the law. As a result, it is apparent that a health information professional needs to understand the legal procedures and court systems and have a profound knowledge of the law. This condition appears to be required for ensuring the security and privacy of health information, which is why it is a direct responsibility of a healthcare professional to gain knowledge on the law.

References

Brodnik, M. (2013). Introduction to the fundamentals of law for health informatics and information management. In M. Brodnik, L. Rinehart-Thompson, & R. Reynolds (Eds.), Fundamentals of law for health informatics and information management (pp. 1-16). Chicago, IL: American Health Information Management Association.

Health Information and the Law – HealthInfoLaw.org. (2015). Perspectives from the field: Guy Collier, JD, MPH . Web.

Hunter, E. (2013). Electronic health records in an occupational health setting—Part I. A global overview. Workplace Health & Safety, 61(2), 57-60. Web.

Rinehart-Thompson, L. (2013). The legal system in the United States. In M. Brodnik, L. Rinehart-Thompson, & R. Reynolds (Eds.), Fundamentals of law for health informatics and information management (pp. 17-30). Chicago, IL: American Health Information Management Association.

Sattler, D. (2017). Health law, data privacy and security, fraud, and abuse. In M. Skurka (Eds.), Health information management (pp. 105-142). Somerset, PA: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "Government in Health Information System Regulation." December 12, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/government-in-health-information-system-regulation/.

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StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Government in Health Information System Regulation'. 12 December.

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