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Flashcards in Medical Privacy Deck (13)
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What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. A U.S. law passed to create national standards for electronic healthcare transactions, among other purposes. HIPAA required the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promulgate regulations to protect the privacy and security of personal health information. The basic rule is that patients have to opt in before their information can be shared with other organizations—although there are important exceptions such as for treatment, payment and healthcare operations.


What is PHI?

Protected Health Information. Any individually identifiable health information transmitted or maintained in any form or medium that is held by an entity covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or its business associate; identifies the individual or offers a reasonable basis for identification; is created or received by a covered entity or an employer; and relates to a past, present or future physical or mental condition, provision of healthcare or payment for healthcare to that individual.


What are covered entities?

1. Healthcare providers that conduct certain transactions in electronic form
2. Health Plans (e.g. health insurers)
3. Healthcare clearinghouses (e.g. third-party organizations that host, handle or process medical information


What is a business associate?

Any person or organization, other than a member of a covered entity's workforce, that performs services and activities for, or on behalf of, a covered entity, if such services or activities involve the use or disclosure of PHI.


What are some key protections offered by the HIPAA Privacy Rule?

1. Privacy Notices.
2. Authorizations for uses and disclosures
3. "Minimum necessary" use or disclosure
4. Access and accountings of disclosures
5. Safeguards
6. Accountability


What exceptions are there to the HIPAA Privacy Rule?

1. Major categories of treatment, payment, and healthcare operations
2. De-identified information
3. Medical Research


What is De-identification?

An action that one takes to remove identifying characteristics from data. De-identified data is information that does not actually identify an individual. Some laws require specific identifiers to be removed (See HIPAA 165.514(b)(2)). Hashing is not enough to de-identify data.


What methods does the HIPAA Privacy Rule provide for de-identifying data?

1. Remove all of at least 17 data elements listed in the rule
2. have an expert testify that the risk of re-identifying the individuals is very small


What is the HIPAA Security Rule?

A rule that established the minimum security requirements for PHI that a covered entity receives, creates, maintains, or transmits in electronic form.


The HIPAA Security Rule requires covered entities and business associates to:

1. Ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of al ePHI the covered entity creates, receives, maintains, or transmits
2. Protect against any reasonably anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of the ePHI
3. Protect against any reasonably anticipated uses or disclosures of such information that are not permitted or required under the Privacy Rule
4. Ensure compliance with the Security Rule by its workforce
5. Identify an individual who is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the Security Rule
6. Conduct initial and ongoing risk assessments
7. Implement a Security Awareness and Training Program


What is the HITECH Act?

Updated HIPAA to include business associates. If you contract work out, the contractor and you are basically the same
- introduced categories of violations based on culpability
expanded breach notification laws
incentivized using ePHI more
- compliance with limited data set rules

2009, after fin crisis as a stimulus


What must happen in event of a breach of unsecured information under the HITECH Act?

1. The covered entity must perform a risk assessment to determine the risk of harm.
2. If the is a significant risk of harm (financial reputational, or other) it must notify individuals within 60 days of discovery.
3. If a business associate discovers a breach it must notify the covered entity.
4. If the breach affects more than 500 people the covered entity must notify HHS immediately.
5. If the breach affects more that 500 people in the same jurisdiction, it must notify the media.
6. All breaches requiring notice must be reported to HHS at least annually.


What is GINA?

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. Prohibits health insurance companies from discriminating on the basis of genetic predispositions in the absence of manifest symptoms or the from requesting that applicants receive genetic testing, and prohibits employers from using genetic information in making employment decisions.