The Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act ( Hipaa )

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Most of us are familiar with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as the federal law that ensures protection and security of patients’ personal and health information. Its initial purpose was to protect transmittal of electronic health information as technology began replacing paper (records, communications, and such.) While our personal information is being protected, and it prevents insurance companies from using this information against us when they are determining rates, how does this affect health research? The initial reaction by many researchers to the implementation of HIPAA rules was that research efforts would be hampered due to the difficulty and perhaps inability to gather patient health information.…show more content…
Impact of HIPAA on Health Research The implementation of HIPAA, specifically the final rule, known as the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Information: 45 cfr parts 160 and 164, was intended to “assure that individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public 's health and well-being. “(Secretary, H. O. n.d.). Researchers complied with the HIPAA ruling by implementing collection of waivers, consent forms, and surveys, which required approval by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) before data could be used. It appears that for the most part, with proper documentation and proper review and authorization of the documentation, HIPAA has not hindered researchers in their data collection from patients. However, there are those who believed that the implementation of HIPAA had negative repercussions in regards to data collection in regards to health research. Mitigation of HIPAA roadblocks with Waivers Bob Brown, PhD, director of Health Informatics at Michigan State University Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, reports that HIPAA requirements has not negatively impacted health research at MSU. However, its effect on research has been the need for researchers to obtain written permission from patients. The potential roadblock of HIPAA privacy rules have been mitigated by utilizing waivers signed by
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