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HIPAA Awareness

Welcome to our HIPAA Awareness page, where you will find general information about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This page should be used for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as legal opinion.

What is HIPAA Administrative Simplification?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was signed into law on August 21, 1996 (Kennedy - Kassebaum Bill). The bill amended the following:

  • Public Health Service Act (PHS Act)
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)
  • Internal Revenue Code of 1986

Objectives of HIPAA Administrative Simplification:

  • To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system by standardizing the electronic exchange of administrative and financial data
  • To provide security of protected health data
  • To ensure privacy rights for subject individuals

Each part of HIPAA applies differently to various health care organizations:

  • EDI components apply to those organizations who electronically transmit administrative and financial data
  • Health plans and clearinghouses MUST implement
  • Providers and employers MAY implement
  • Security and privacy measures apply to all covered entities that electronically maintain or transmit individually identifiable/protected health information
  • Privacy rules apply to protected health information in any form (e.g. oral, written, faxed, etc.)

Who must comply with HIPAA Administrative Simplification

  • Health plans, including self-insured employers
  • Health care clearinghouses
  • Health care providers who transmit any information in an electronic form
  • Business partners of entities required to comply with the standards

For additional information, access the HIPAA Helper