Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - HIPAA

HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, was signed into law in 1996 (PS-104-191). Designed to combat fraud and abuse in health care, standardize health-care transactions and implement privacy controls on patient records, HIPAA applies to all health-care providers that conduct electronic transactions for health claims and related information.

Because HIPAA is cast in very general terms, the burden of proof - interpreting and documenting compliance - frequently falls on the IT staff and can add considerable complexity and costs to an already stressful position.

Covered Entities**
Healthcare Providers Healthcare Providers
Hospitals Billing Agencies
Pharmacies Health Plans
Laboratories 15

**Any organization that exchanges data with those directly covered under the HIPAA "Chain of Trust" Agreement and/or Contracts

Regulators/Compliance Deadlines
Regulation Effective Compliance Date
Electronic Transactions October 16, 2002 or October 16, 2003
Privacy April 14, 2003
Security April 15, 2005

Additional Resources:

The final HIPAA regulations are available at the following regulatory agency sites:


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