Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

Patient privacy is a fundamental right of any person admitted for treatment in any medical facility. There are many guidelines and regulations introduced to protect the confidential information people disclose within healthcare settings. Thus, one of the federal laws aimed at ensuring patient confidentiality is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This paper will briefly discuss the act and how to avoid violating it while performing practicum activities.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is the federal statute outlining the standards of protection of sensitive and confidential information. HIPAA prevents patient information from being disclosed to third parties without their knowledge and consent (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019). The act has three main provisions, which include privacy, security, and breach notification rules. The privacy rule encompasses the appropriate use of patient information and outlines the instances when the disclosure and access of such data are justified (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019). Similarly, the security rule is set to protect individually identifiable patient health information (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019). Thus, the act aims to safeguard the patients’ privacy in medical facilities while ensuring the flow of the necessary health data to provide high-quality care.

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It is crucial for all medical professionals, including nursing students, to avoid HIPAA violations as they can result in a lawsuit and a fine to the healthcare organization. Thus, students are recommended not to access patient information unless used for treatment, payment, and other healthcare operations (HIPAA Journal, 2021). Refusal to provide patients with their health records and sharing this data with third parties are severe HIPAA violations (HIPAA Journal, 2021). In addition, during practicum, students should avoid leaving digital and paper medical records unattended and giving them to unauthorized individuals. Overall, nursing students are advised to familiarize themselves with relevant HIPAA provisions to avoid any violations and are recommended to consult senior medical professionals in uncertain situations.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Web.

HIPAA Journal. (2021). The most common HIPAA violations you should be aware of. Web.

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AssignZen. 2022. "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996." August 24, 2022. https://assignzen.com/health-insurance-portability-and-accountability-act-of-1996/.

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AssignZen. (2022) 'Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996'. 24 August.

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