Hipaa 's Effects On Communication

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HIPAA’s Effects on Communication When it comes to health care, one of patients’ primary concerns is the protection of their private information. It is for this reason that Congress created the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA affects nearly all communication between patients, providers, payers, and intermediates such as pharmacies (Fremgen, 2012). Physicians may need to refer a patient to another practice for tests or further treatment. At any time, a patient has the right to request copies of his or her medical records. To collect payment for services, a clinic may need to provide an insurance company with the patient’s diagnosis. Staff must also cooperate when circumstances unrelated to patient care require the release of confidential information. It is critical that staff avoids confusion and properly implements the privacy policy. Medical personnel must exercise caution when communicating patient information, be familiar with special circumstances, and not misinterpret the privacy laws to the detriment of patients and other involved parties. Before sharing any patient information with insurance companies, providers must obtain a written contract from them that guarantees it will remain protected. Written documentation is important to medical staff. If information is to be shared for any reason that is not related to care, billing, or paying, written consent must be collected. Before a patient is even seen, they must be
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