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March 27, 2018

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Famous tennis player sets HIPAA rules in motion 20 years ago

July 20, 2016:

In a word, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 is “huge”; only the federal law that created Medicare has had bigger effect. August 2016 is the 20th anniversary of the legislation, signed by President Bill Clinton. HIPAA address two issues: first, the portability of health insurance for workers, and second – the far better known part of HIPAA – focuses on the protection of individuals’ health information, describing what information is private, and what steps are necessary to secure health information.

One of the incidents propelling interest in protecting health information was the unauthorized publication in the USA Today newspaper of tennis star Arthur Ashe’s HIV medical condition. At that time, no law protected health information. And, more than one celebrity found their medical information in the press before HIPAA was passed to stop that kind of embarrassing disclosure.

But, after 20 years, unauthorized discloses of protected health information continue, seemingly on a daily basis. What’s the problem? Clinicians and administrative staff don’t know the rules.

To help with required staff training, the HIPAA Tool Kit has a new “HIPAA Privacy and Security Handbook” that outlines the HIPAA basics. Each handbook includes case study examples and is tailored for different roles, administrative staff or clinicians. These new handbooks may be printed and distributed to staff as a training and reference tool or as a HIPAA handbook.

Each handbook also contains 20 HIPAA related questions for employees to demonstrate their understanding of the HIPAA privacy and security rules.

These new handbooks are located in the companion book, HIPAA Customizable Compliance Plan, as well as online. The online versions are available in a Microsoft Word format which may be customized to meet an organization’s specific training goals.

For more, visit https://www.optum360coding.com/Product/46189/


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