Research Paper: Health Care Law Privacy and Confidentiality

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Health Care Law, Privacy and Confidentiality

Imagine studying the Health Information Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) from the perspective of a consumer. How are various agencies accountable to this law? What are the rights of the individual? Are businesses obligated to it? One will discuss the various avenues in which health care privacy needs addressed through the benefits and setbacks of it.

A variety of businesses are required to obey HIPAA. These include "health plans, most healthcare providers and healthcare clearinghouses" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). The insurance plans are those that are set forth by places, such as Coventry or Blue Cross and Blue Shield (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Some of them are covered by the government, which include "Medicare and Medicaid" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Furthermore, providers are those that are doctors as well as any kind of clinic or hospital that is available at one's location. This also refers to nursing homes too. Clearinghouses are where the health information is outsourced, such as Outcomes Health Information Solutions. These particular businesses conduct audits in order to make sure that medical places are in compliance with HIPAA law (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Certain organizations are not required to obey HIPAA.

In regards to a health insurer, one "does not become a business associate simply by providing health insurance or health coverage to a group health plan" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). The relationship occurs through "the Privacy Rule as an organized health care arrangement (OHCA)"

with those that they serve on a regular basis (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011).

As a result, they are allowed to share PHI in joint with OHCA. In some cases, they are considered a business associate if one is not directly related to the health care itself (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011).

HIPAA is not applicable with all organizations. This includes those that are "life insurers, employers, workers compensation carriers, many schools and school districts, many state agencies, many law enforcement agencies and municipal offices" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). All of these businesses do not have to become concerned about this particular legal issues pertaining to HIPAA. One needs to note what ways the data is protected for the consumer in order to protect the person from experiencing any kind of possible breach.

Who Must Follow These Laws

The protected information is important, so that a person is at ease with others knowing it in the medical field. This includes anything that the "doctors, nurses, and other health care providers put in the medical record" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Any kind of conversation that takes place; this includes about the individual itself (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). One's own billing data and other "health information" that an individual may encounter about the patient (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). These are crucial, especially in how the record is shielded.

HIPAA has measures in place for how the information is protected. Medical businesses have to use safeguards. Each of them are required to have limits as well as disclosures. This includes having contractors with the data, and an organization is to have procedures on who can and cannot view it (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). All of these are important because a variety of people go into a medical firm on a regular basis for certain services; however, if nothing is in place, then one can do everything possible and choose to exploit it to their advantage. A person does have rights with their health documentation.

The covered entities inform the patient of their rights each time they are visiting a new doctor or about to have an operation. Each individual can ask if they can have a copy of their medial record. He or she can correct anything on it. Notices are sent out to let him or her know that their information could get shared. The person is allowed to make a decision on whether or not to give permission before it is shared. Furthermore, he or she can request a report (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). The patient can also complain to the provider and the insurer as well as "the U.S. Government" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Privacy rules are in place on who can look at the facts due to the limitations that are in place (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011).

Specific people are allowed to look at the health figures. These include anyone during the treatment or the coordination of the care. Anyone who would like paid for the service provided to the patient. The person's family members or friends who have a part in their loved one's health can take on an active role. This allows for safety when care is done as well as to protect those in public. Additionally, medical personnel could make a report out with the police. Regardless, a person cannot do anything without it getting done in writing from the patient itself. For example, those who do some level of marketing as well as share notes in private with one's health information (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Who Is Not Required to Follow These LawsWhat Information Is Protected

One needs to define a business associate. This is an individual who "performs certain functions or activities on behalf of, or provides certain services, to a covered entity that involve the disclosure of individually identifiable health information" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services OCR, 2011). Their functions can range from data analysis to those that include financial services. Those that do not deal with health information do have to become concerned about disclosing them to anyone (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services OCR, 2011).

A contract occurs with the business entity. For example, protections are set forth by means of having a written agreement; however, other places may choose to do this in a different manner. Through this, specific safeguards are enacted with the protected health information (PHI). The business also does not have to allow the information to get disclosed as well. However, those that are covered units already have a contract with that of the business associate before 2002; consequently, these were not renewed it in 2004, despite the modification in 2003 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services OCR, 2011). This can make one become afraid because of knowing that employers could get access to this information if they have a contract with a medical facility, and the patient can decide whether or not this is the case with their PHI.

One has to note that with "the privacy rule, a covered entity such as a doctor can contact a patient using a Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS), without the need for a business associate contract with the TRS" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). This is allowed due to the fact that a contract is not needed with a business associate (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011).

By using the TRS, this allows someone who has speech and hearing impairments through the means of "using a communications assistant (CA) who transliterates conversations" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Through this, PHI is conveyed through TTY (text and telephone), and voice is used to communicate (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Everyone has to comply in accordance to "the Federal Communications Commission" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). No contract is needed in order to provide it at no cost and is not considered a business associate. As a result, one can use this as a means of sharing PHI on the telephone, which gives one an opportunity to disclose the needed information (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). This protects the health care provider and the patient when information is disclosed in this matter. An individual needs to understand the rule of the patient that is used for safety.

How Is This Information ProtectedWhat Rights Does the Privacy Rule Give Me Over My Health InformationOne needs to define "the patient safety rule," that was set forth on November 21, 2008 but did not take effect until 2009. This is done as a means of the PSQIA. The OCR can interpret as well as implement the protections of confidentiality and enforcement (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Furthermore, AHRQ can choose to "list and delist" the organizations that wish to not comply to HIPAA regulations (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). With subpart a, the terms are defined and this also includes PSO. However, subpart B demonstrates what requirements are needed as a means for the PSOs (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). "These entities offer their expert advice in analyzing the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Health Care Law Privacy and Confidentiality.  (2011, May 5).  Retrieved December 6, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/health-care-law-privacy-confidentiality/1250518

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"Health Care Law Privacy and Confidentiality."  5 May 2011.  Web.  6 December 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/health-care-law-privacy-confidentiality/1250518>.

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"Health Care Law Privacy and Confidentiality."  Essaytown.com.  May 5, 2011.  Accessed December 6, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/health-care-law-privacy-confidentiality/1250518.