Q:

What is the purpose of HIPAA?

A:

Quick Answer

The purpose of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, is to help people keep existing health insurance, to help control the cost of care and to keep medical information private, as shown by the Tennessee Department of Health. The law has two main parts.

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Full Answer

The first part of HIPAA focuses on the patient and allowing people to take their health insurance with them if they change jobs, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. This helps to ensure no coverage lapse. This section of HIPAA also restricts health insurance companies from requiring any pre-existing conditions on those who change plans. In addition to this, the patient is protected when it comes to their privacy. This rule applies to all organizations that either provide medical care or that store medical records.

The second part of HIPAA focuses on health care providers, explains the Tennessee Department of Health. In this case, the law sets standards for transmitting, receiving and maintaining information related to the care of their patients. This includes securing identification and information such as name, telephone number and dates. If identification can be made based on the information given through communication, it falls under HIPAA guidelines.

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