President Clinton signed the Kassebaum-Kennedy Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)on August 21, 1996.
HIPAA is designed to expand health coverage by improving the portability and continuity of health insurance coverage in group and individual markets to:
- combat waste in health care delivery,
- promote the use of medical savings accounts,
- improve access to long-term care services and coverage, and
- simplify the administration of health insurance.
Within this context HIPAA includes a provision called Administrative Simplification, which is intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system by encouraging the development of standards for the electronic transmission, privacy and security of certain health information. Administrative Simplification is one of the Act's five titles and is a focus for governments across the nation.
The Administrative Simplification provision of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA, Title II) requires the Federal Department of Health and Human Services to establish national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health plans and employers. The Act also addresses the security and privacy of health data. The long-term purpose of these standards is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation’s health care system by encouraging widespread use of standard electronic data interchanges in health care.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services established the HIPAA Privacy Regulation in December 2000, which then became effective on April 14, 2003. The Privacy Rule provides for the protection and privacy of individually identifiable health information and guards against misuse of such information.
Learn more about DDD HIPAA privacy practices, requesting documentation and filing complaints.