Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), was enacted in 1996 and includes provisions intended to safeguard the privacy of patient health records. HIPAA is a significant piece of legislation with onerous penalties. For a full text of the SUMMARY OF THE HIPAA PRIVACY RULE from the Department of Human Services, available online go to: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/privacysummary.pdf. See page 16 of this document in regards to specifically “securing records under lock and key.and limiting access…”

 

Data Safeguards. A covered entity must maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to prevent intentional or unintentional use or disclosure of protected health information in violation of the Privacy Rule and to limit its incidental use and disclosure pursuant to otherwise permitted or required use or disclosure. For example, such safeguards might include shredding documents containing protected health information before discarding them, securing medical records with lock and key or pass code, and limiting access to keys or pass codes.

 

HIPAA Links

American Medical Association:

http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/11805.html

Access provides customers with the highest levels of privacy and security concerning their confidential information. Access’s comprehensive procedures and policies are designed to protect the confidentiality of all client information at all levels of the organization.

Enacted into law in 1996, HIPAA issued regulations relating to the management of medically sensitive documents. The Privacy Rule became effective on April 14, 2003, while the Security Rule deadline is April 21, 2005. Be assured that we have taken every precaution and followed every guideline to assure strict adherence to these mandates at all levels of our organization.

Access will closely follow any new developments and regulations emerging from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and will quickly implement and update our own procedures to assure that Access  as well as our clients meet the compliance requirements of the Act. For more information about HIPAA and how Access can help you become compliant, contact one of our Information Management.