What is HIPPA?


Privacy is a necessity when it comes to the medical field. In 1996 Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act, otherwise known as HIPPA, to help ensure privacy is met for individuals. This act was executed not
only to protect privacy but to also sharpen the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system.

Remember going to the doctor, and once a year they would ask you to sign an updated privacy agreement? That is
because of HIPPA. HIPPA provides protection for individual’s confidential medical information. HIPPA also protects health
insurance coverage for individuals who lose and change jobs, institutes national standards in regards to processing
electronic healthcare transactions, oversees tax related provisions and guidelines for medical care, constantly update
and define health insurance reform and also helps in regards to individuals who lose their citizenship for income tax
purposes.

While privacy is the most well known component of HIPAA, it also provides for standardized transactions and code sets.  
This is the format requirements for how medical claims are sent and received for processing.  It also establishes the
code sets used.  

With technology and the medical field constantly changing, HIPPA is always evolving. Many healthcare compliance
departments have a HIPAA Privacy Officer and Security Officer in addition to the
Compliance Officer.  Depending on the
size of the facility, the same person may serve as all three within the organization.