Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or better known as HIPPA, is a new and stronger approach to privacy. A law was put into effect April 14, 2003 that gives patients and residents more rights to confidentiality of their health information. It is illegal to release health information to inappropriate parties or to fail to adequately protect health information from release. Privacy is more than just an ethical obligation- IT IS THE LAW. There are significant legal penalties for employees, volunteers, and organizations that violate this privacy.
What is considered protected health information under HIPPA?
A patient's name, address, birth date and Social Security number;
An individual's physical or mental health condition;
Any care provided to an individual; or
Information concerning the payment for the care provided to the individual that identifies the patient, or information for which there is a reasonable basis to believe could be used to identify the patient.