HIPAA is not just a buzzword. It is a very real threat. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is the barometer in which you must set your standards. This is especially true when dealing with patients sensitive data.
As a patient within the healthcare system, you want to make sure that your private information is protected. After all, you do not want your private medical information making the front pages of the local newspaper. Of course, this notion is rather far-fetched, but you can see the ramifications of an HIPAA violation clearly.
Any company that deals with your personal medical information must be compliant with HIPAA rules. If not, they can be subjected to intense fines and scrutiny. In short, it is in everyone’s best interests to remain compliant with HIPAA.
Knowing your rights is important, as a healthcare professional or an individual. Let us take a minute to look at the facts:
As a Healthcare Professional
As an owner of an organisation, you may want to ensure that you are putting patient privacy first. In fact, it should be your top priority. This means that you will avoid a HIPAA violation. This is critical to your organisations success. Privacy of all is essential. After all, no one wants their personal information made public knowledge. You need to endeavour to make sure that you have robust security policies in place. As an individual, you can ask about your healthcare organisations HIPAA policy.
As HIPAA rules can change, you need to make sure that you are fully abreast with the changes. Pleading ignorance will not work. You have a moral, and legal, obligation to your patients. You cannot break their trust.
As an employer, you need to tell your employees and colleagues about HIPAA policies. If you do not, and your employees breach HIPAA policies, you are liable to be fined. Your colleagues are your responsibility. With this in mind, you need to endeavour to make sure that they are fully aware of any issues that they may face if they do not comply. Compliance is critical.
As an Individual
Knowing your rights is the most powerful tool at your disposal. If you believe that a company has violated your HIPAA rights, you can make a complaint. Anyone can file a complaint against a healthcare organisation. You can access the relevant paperwork easily online and ensure that the matter is dealt with. You do not have to suffer in silence. You can ensure that those who have wronged you are dealt with. What is more, you may be entitled to a significant amount of compensation.
You may be somewhat afraid of the consequences of filing a complaint. However, do be aware that once you have filed a complaint, you cannot be retaliated against. If you are, you need to make sure that you complain again, using the retaliation methods and evidence as proof.
HIPAA policies are there to protect all. As a healthcare representative, you want to be the best. This means that you are ensuring the privacy of all your patients. As an individual, you can seek compensation from those that have wronged you.