Explaining HIPAA

What your ASC needs to know about federal cybersecurity enforcement

Health institutions have existed in the US for hundreds of years—Benjamin Franklin founded the first hospital in Pennsylvania in 1751—but national policies offering protections for confidential patient health information are more recent. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as HIPAA, was signed into law on August 21, 1996. The law originally aimed at helping Americans gain and retain health insurance, especially when moving between jobs. However, tucked inside the “Subtitle F—Administrative Simplification” section (page 87) of the rule were several provisions that would change the course of health information regulation and become the centerpiece of the healthcare industry’s current interactions with the law.

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