On April 14, 2001, the Final Privacy Rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) became effective. Providers, health plans and clearinghouses were designated as covered entities under HIPAA and providers must be compliant with HIPAA’s privacy regulations by April 2003. As a result, the healthcare industry has been gearing up to meet the compliance requirements established by the HIPAA privacy rules. As a follow-up to the rule, the Department of Health and Human Services published an overview of the regulation, which provides answers to general questions.
HIPAA is rapidly and significantly changing the way we process electronic healthcare information. “Security” and “privacy” have become the new industry buzzwords, and the chase is on to conform to the new standards. After reviewing tens of thousands of comments on its proposed rules, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recently published final rules to establish national formats and data set standards for electronic transactions, standards to ensure the security of electronic health data, and policies to protect the confidentiality of medical information.
WinMedStat will continue to closely follow the development of the HIPAA requirements for security, privacy, and electronic attachments. We are assessing our practice management software against the proposed security rule to evaluate necessary changes and to assure that we are in compliance. We are prepared to quickly implement any required changes as the final rules are published. It is WinMedStat’s policy to maintain compliance with relevant HIPAA regulations as they are issued and become effective and to incorporate them into future product releases.
HIPAA will have a tremendous impact on the healthcare industry and it is important to stay informed of the latest issues and changes. The following websites will provide you with further access to the latest HIPAA news.
http://www.aspe.hhs.gov/admnsimp/Index.htm - CMS (Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services) site for the HIPAA standards. The schedule of tentative release dates for HIPAA standards can be found on this site
http://www.mahealthdata.org/-(MHDC) Massachusetts Health Data Consortium is a New England regional non-profit organization. The MHDC web site provides excellent privacy information.
www.cms.hhs.gov - The web site of the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services (formerly HCFA), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). From their main page, you can access the Administrative Simplification pages and other HIPAA information.
WinMedStat is 5010 compliant through our clearinghouse partner Healthsmart.
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