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What Is HIPAA?

The United States Congress enacted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) on August 21, 1996, as Public Law 104-191. The main purpose of this law is to allow for continuity of healthcare coverage. The law outlines limitations on preexisting condition exclusions and prevents discrimination against individuals based on their health status. The law also has a section on administrative simplification that has new requirements for the electronic transmission of health information. The section on administrative simplification may be of particular interest to medical transcriptionists who receive, send, and/or store patient health information files.

If you or your company are required to adhere to the HIPAA rules on privacy, confidentiality, and security, this quick check list may be of benefit to you:

The links below are sites with HIPAA information that you may find useful. Clicking on a link will open a new window.

General HIPAA Information

HIPAA.ORG - General Information - Lots of information and links.

U.S. Government Sites

DHHS - Administrative Simplification
CMS - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Privacy and Security

AFEHCT - American Association of Health Care Transactions 

Professional Organizations

AAMI - Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation
AHDI - Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity
ADA - American Dental Association
AFEHCT - American Association of Health Care Transactions
AHMIA - American Health Information Management Association
AMIA - American Medical Informatics Association
NSI - American National Standards Institute
ASTM - American Society for Testing & Materials
HIMSS - Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
NCPDP - National Council for Prescription Drug Programs
NUBC - National Uniform Billing Committee
NUCC - National Uniform Claims Committee
WEDI - Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange

Please note that Medword cannot answer your questions on any aspect of HIPAA. Please direct your questions about HIPAA to a U.S. government agency or department.

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