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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), a sweeping set of legislation designed to ensure the privacy, security and standardized transmission of health information, continues to have widespread implications for HIPAA-defined covered entities. Covered entities include health care providers, payers and clearinghouses as well as certain employers and universities. Penalties for noncompliance and potential litigation make it critical for affected organizations to ensure their ability to conform and meet deadlines. The final rule adopting HIPAA standards for security was published in the Federal Register on February 20, 2003. This final rule specifies a series of administrative, technical, and physical security procedures for covered entities to use to assure the confidentiality of electronic protected health information. The standards are delineated into either required or addressable implementation specifications.

DISC HIPAA compliance program
DISC HIPAA compliance program
Adobe Acrobat document [233.9 KB]
HIPAA was enacted to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the national health system and protect the privacy of health information. It is designed to safeguard patients' rights, reduce information fraud and abuse, and increase security for protected health information (PHI) transmitted electronically. HIPAA also standardizes the transmission of healthcare transactions between covered entities, thereby significantly reducing costs and improving processing accuracy and timeliness for many organizations.

Who is a covered Entity?

The influence of HIPAA is widespread. Hospitals, pharmacies, physician practices and other providers must observe its provisions as they admit, counsel and treat patients. In addition, all payers must consider new rules as they determine eligibility, process claims and remit to providers. This includes employers that sponsor or administer self-funded group health plans, advocate on behalf of employees in resolving claims disputes, or operate and bill for on-site health services. In addition, universities that maintain campus health clinics, perform medical research or provide medical care through athletic programs may be covered when certain criteria are met. In short, any entity that falls under the definition of a covered entity for provider, payer, or clearinghouse is responsible for complying with HIPAA regulations.
Who is a covered Entity?
Adobe Acrobat document [259.5 KB]

HIPAA Administrative Simplification Compliance Deadlines

HIPAA Administrative Simplification Compliance Deadlines
Adobe Acrobat document [10.8 KB]
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