“HIPAA” stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA was originally known for providing for greater access and portability to health insurance. What is not common knowledge is HIPAA has established greater penalties for health care fraud. Medical practices are most concerned with the privacy and security requirements of HIPAA for patient medical information. These sections apply to health plans, health care providers, and health care clearinghouses that transmit health information in an electronic form. There are three subparts, all with different mandatory requirements, which include transaction standards, privacy standards, and security standards.

HIPAA’s Three Parts

A. Transaction Standards

Designed to facilitate the health care claims process, Covered Entities are required to use standardized formats for the communication of health data in electronic communications.

B. Privacy Standards

Covered Entities are required to safeguard its patients’ protected health information. There are penalties for misuse or improper disclosure of this information.

C. Security Standards

Covered Entities are required to implement security standards for data in transit and at rest. These standards range from administrative procedures to technical security mechanisms.

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