HIPAA and Confidentiality

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HIPAA and Confidentiality

In 1996, the United States Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, better known as HIPAA.
  • Their first goal was to protect the health insurance coverage of workers and their dependents when they left or changed jobs. The second goal was to establish national standards for the electronic transmission of health care information to ensure patient privacy.
  • HIPAA also defines health records and determines who has the right to access such records and for what purpose. HIPAA violations include accidental or willful misuse of an individual's health care records or information by a health care facility (medical records) or medical professionals. Health care providers must inform patients about their HIPAA policy and disclose how their information will be used and protected.
As a courier, all patient information must be treated as private. That includes patient records, information on patient samples, and any patient information that may have been overheard while working in the laboratory or physician's office. A courier should receive information about patient privacy during the new employee orientation period.
Remember, discussing private patient information with anyone not directly responsible for that patient's care is NEVER acceptable. Violating these privacy policies can lead to termination and even fines.
For information: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals