With technology increasing these days as well as computers and the Internet being so widely available, there has also had to be an advance put on the medical insurance sector as well. Although it is easier for healthcare providers and insurance companies to perform their jobs with the information technology out there, it is also just as easy for risks such as identity theft, data theft and personal information misuse to happen as well.
This is why the HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act took effect in 1996, and to provide patients with more control over their medical and insurance coverage information. This act also regulates and holds the healthcare centers and insurance companies more accountable.
With patients having more control these days, all covered entities that are providing HIPAA training will need to be more balanced. The insurance companies may face serious penalties should they breach any of the HIPAA laws. It is therefore necessary that these covered entities respect the law and abide by all HIPAA guidelines.
All policies under HIPAA need to be reviewed by the insurance company as well as the patients PHI. The covered entity should appoint a security officer to look after all company security systems, to be sure no PHI is leaked due to glitches. The security officer should compile a periodic report that will be mailed to the patients. All PHI will need to be protected by password and all systems in place foolproof.
All staff members need to be educated and up to speed on HIPAA guidelines. There should be a periodic training process in place for all staff members. The law as well as all updated HIPAA procedures and policies should be gone over in detail. Once the trainers understand everything, they need to pass this information on accordingly. If this step is skipped, the insurance companies can end up in court for non-comprehension of policies.
All professional business related companies and individuals will need to sign a business agreement to minimize the risk of malpractice in any way. All patients’ queries and requests need to be responded to, this includes doubts as well. These queries need to be addressed quickly, and within a 30 day timeframe.
The patients will benefit profoundly with these HIPAA guidelines put in place. However, covered entities should avoid violating any of these guidelines. Through continued reviewing, in house training, analysis, security measures that are up-to-date and clear communication with patients, all covered entities can minimize risks of breach.