HIPAA Security 101 aims to protect health information

Key Takeaway:

HIPAA Security 101 deals with protecting health information. It has clear guidelines on who all are covered. It is aimed at making health information safer and more secure.

One of the key components of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 is the Security Series. The Security Series constitutes a part of the Administrative Simplification provisions of HIPAA. Passed by the American Congress; this series is intended to make the healthcare industry more efficient by protecting the privacy and security of some kinds of health information. This it does by regulating the use of standardized electronic transactions.

Provisions relating to the following have been listed:

  • Privacy Rule
  • Electronic transactions and code sets rule
  • National identifier requirements for employers, providers, and health plans
  • Security Rule

The need for Security 101

The need for enacting a set of security provisions was felt purely because before the enactment of Security 101, there was neither a set of generally accepted security standards nor general requirements for protecting health information in the health care industry. It was a time when technologies were taking over the day-to-day administration of healthcare records from paper to computers. Computers began to play a central role in carrying out the key functions of the healthcare industry, ranging from claims to disseminating information to the public at large about any aspect of healthcare, to a clutch of other related clinical or administrative functions.

What does Security 101 do?

HIPAA Security 101 is designed to perform two crucial functions:

  • First, it puts in place the much needed, appropriate security safeguards for protecting select electronic health care information which could be liable to risk of breach or exposure
  • Second, it facilitates a crucial goal of HIPAA, namely the promotion of use of electronic health information in the healthcare industry

Who all need to implement Security 101?

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published rules for implementing Security 101, which the following have to implement:

  • Covered Health Care Providers
  • Health Plans
  • Health Care Clearinghouses
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Card Sponsors
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