What was the controversy surrounding the need of HIPAA privacy rules?


Quick Answer

Patient medical record protections have been the primary problem with HIPAA privacy rules, explains Exscribe.com. There is a gray area regarding how doctors can submit information to insurance providers without submitting details not meant to be seen by insurers.

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Full Answer

Personal notes written by doctors along with a patient's medical files may not be meant for viewing by insurers, violating the patient privacy rule, states Excribe.com. Along with traditional paper records and verbal communications, doctors must also provide electronic data. Sensitive information can be transmitted easily and inadvertently through the Internet, raising a conflict as to which information to censor to protect the patient. Individuals can make uninformed decisions about what personal information is to be kept private, and this can prevent necessary vital treatment for an existing condition.

Another major criticism of the HIPAA rule is that the criteria for effective implementation and execution is too broad, notes Excribe.com. One serious concern is that healthcare providers are intimidated by violation penalties, causing them to withhold important information to avoid scrutiny. There is also confusion as to when doctors are expected to disclose patient data and when releasing this information is expected to be deferred to a patient's judgment. This can pave the way to many mistakes and errors.

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