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Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act

HIPAA: Due to the sensitivity and importance of health information, the HIPAA privacy and security rule oversees the confidentiality and protection of patient health information (PHI). The HIPAA privacy rule focuses on the right of an individual to control the use of that individual’s personal information. The HIPAA security rule focuses on the safeguards, whether it may be physical, administrative, or technical, required to keep patient information safe. These rules help individuals understand their rights to their health information, the hospital’s rights to their written patient information, who is allowed to access it, and how they keep unauthorized individuals from accessing it. There are many rules and regulations to keep in check the legitimacy and safety of health information, and understandably, to checks and retributions are also very serious to counter the non-compliance of these rules. There are tiers for the gravity of each HIPAA violation that could result is in a few hundred dollars in fines to up to ten years in jail and up to 1.5 million dollars in fines. HIPAA and HITECH, which builds tangible requirements for the current in-place requirements, are imperative in assuring the safety of information and will be even more of an importance in the coming years as the healthcare industry transitions into a paperless, technologically savvy, industry.

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