HIPAA

What is HIPAA?

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Passed in 1996, HIPAA is a federal law that sets a national standard to protect medical records and other personal health information. The rule defines “protected health information” as health information that:

1. Identifies an individual and

2. Is maintained or exchanged electronically or in hard copy.

The HIPAA rules and regulations consist of three major components: the HIPAA Privacy rules, Security rules, and Breach Notification Rules. A full description of the HIPAA Privacy Rule can be found here. Essentially, HIPAA works to protect sensitive patient medical information.

How much do HIPAA violations cost?

People in the healthcare industry cannot treat HIPAA lightly. If an employee were found guilty of violating a HIPAA rule, that person could face a fine between $100 and $1,500,000. Depending on the severity of the violation, the employee might face a 10-year jail sentence, lawsuits, termination from the job, and the loss of medical license.

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