The healthcare system is concerned with the duties of providing the people with treatment, prevention measures, and overall management of health. This is ensured through professional service providers like nurses and physicians.
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These services require adequate financing and must be performed based on already set policies and standards that govern the healthcare system. However, the industry faces some risks and challenges, which include costs and the complex processes that are followed to ensure quality results (Ransom et al., 2005).
‘Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996’
This is a legislation that controls the inefficiencies within the healthcare system. Its enactment enabled easy detection of fraud and abuse cases against patients and also allowed employees to go for or change jobs of their interest irrespective of their pre-existing health status. It made it easy for the processing of cases against fraudulence on patients. The other objective of this statute is that it enables health insurance portability and guarantees patients the security and privacy to their individual health information (Gostin, 2001).
The HIPAA, as used in the healthcare industry affects the organizations that are categorized under; healthcare clearinghouse, healthcare provider, and health plan. The healthcare clearinghouse is considered an entity that is involved in the compilation of standard data elements. It handles most of the healthcare information documents from healthcare providers, transforming them into acceptable reports that are presented to intended clearinghouses. The health plan provides the coverage cost of any medical care.
How the statute affects patient healthcare
This act helps in protecting the patient’s privacy by concealing their medical information. The statute integrates all sources of security, ensuring that the confidentiality and privacy of health information are secure. This has guaranteed the patients access to appropriate and quality care without any fear of loss. It eliminates the issue of patient discrimination within the job market based on their medical status.
This act has enabled most of the medical institutions to invest in the information system technology ensuring that the weak security once experienced over patient’s data is eliminated. HIPAA has also made healthcare more affordable due to significant compliance costs it possesses (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1998).
Discuss the risk management implications of the statute
The HIPAA security standard calls for comprehensive addressing of the administrative procedures. Under this, there is the documentation of policies and regulations that safeguards the integrity and confidentiality of the patient data. The information offers security to the testing and assessment procedures of the patients and also sanctions to those who attempt to breach these policies. The patient data is not physically accessible to the public and is well protected against any environmental damage.
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The patient records are protected and controlled by the use of the new technology that can provide reliable records of those that might have accessed patient data. This involves the use of electronic signatures that provides identities of the users who might want to share patient data and prescriptions.
This standard provided by HIPAA ensured the maintenance of message integrity when using electronic signatures. Violation of the HIPAA leads to imprisonment or payment of over $200,000 fine; this may also damage one’s reputation (Rada, 2010; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1998).
Gostin, L. (2001). National Health Information Privacy – Regulations Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285 (23).
Rada, R. (2010). How HIPAA Compliant Can Any Technology Be?” HIPAA Advisory: Phoenix Health Systems. Web.
Ransom, S., Joshi, M. and Nash, D. (2005). The healthcare quality book: Vision, strategy, and tools. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1998). Security and Electronic Signature Standards; Proposed Rule. The Federal Register, 45 (142).