The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is one of the most important acts, which aims at creating proper insurance for people and fighting against frauds and abuses in health care. HIPAA allows being sure about the effectiveness in the health care system and continuity of human health insurance coverage. Each change in the sphere of health care that has some impact on the HIPAA should be properly analyzed and taken into consideration, because people have to know when and why their health insurance coverage may or may not work.

For example, by means of online sources, it is known that Max Sieben Baucus, an influential figure during the debates concerning the health care reform in the United States of America, is now eager to tighten the standards of HIPAA administrative transactions and develop new operating rules, which will lead to increasing transaction sets (Koslovsky, 2009). With the development of this plan that is now known as Chairman’s Mark, the number of fines and penalties will be increased, and this increase may cause some unpredictable problems for further development of health care system.

Example of a Client’s Health Insurance Accountability Error

Agnes Gibbons had some problems with congestive heart failure, so, she went to the hospital to get appropriate help. She was asked to present some demographic information about herself in order to complete her file. Within some time, it was discovered that all the information about Ms. Gibbons had been added to some other client’s file. According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Joint Commission requirements, any health care information should be protected and private (Hebda & Czar, 2009).

This is why the situation should be corrected as soon as possible in order to keep in secret the information about Agnes Gibbons and not to put under a threat the work of the hospital. First, the security department should be informed about such a mistake with information, as its primary goal is to protect people’s confidentiality and information integrity. When the security is informed, it is necessary to take several rather important steps:

  1. check whether sings-on or passwords work, maybe, the information cannot be found because of password lock;
  2. if it is possible and harmless to the other client’s history, automatic sign-off may be done;
  3. physical restrictions to the information access may be used, and the managers, who are responsible for the client, to whose file Gibbons’ information was added, should prevent entering the file till Gibbons’ information is deleted.

To my mind, Ms. Gibbons and the client, to whose file false information was added, should be informed about this accident. It is quite possible that these two people know each other and will be eager to present their private information once again in order to get proper treatment in future.

In general, the security department should be informed from the very beginning in order to use, if possible, the opportunity to cancel the operation or make corrections as soon as possible. If the situation is under control, it is necessary to inform people and get their private information once again. And, finally, ask people to create their own passwords, which would make this information not available for the others, so that only they or the department of identity management could get an access to information. Any way, information about the patient should be confident, and employees, who fill in files, should be very careful and quite attentive, while saving information for a long period of time.

Reference List

Hebda, T. L. & Czar, P. (2009). Handbook of Informatics for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

Koslovsky, B. (2009). . WirelessDoc. Web.

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