The privacy issue will continue to grow and be a significant factor in everyday health care. ENT practice administrators, as they oversee the transition to an electronic office, need to ensure that they comply with HIPAA’s security standard to maintain the confidence, privacy and participation of their patients.
Explore this issue:January 2007
Pending Congressional Bills on Privacy
- 21st Century Health Information Act (H.R. 2234)Proposes creating health information networks that allow seamless transfer of health data and guarantee patient privacy through HIPAA compliance and the ability to opt out of participation.
- Health IT Promotion Act (H.R. 4157)Corrects obstacles that have slowed the adoption of a national, interoperable EMR system and directs the HHS Secretary to recommend a single privacy standard consolidating existing state and federal laws.
- Electronic Health Information Privacy ActCloses gaps in HIPAA; patients decide who sees their medical information and why; patients can opt out of any health information network; privacy rules apply to any organization or individual who sees, handles or exchanges medical records; audit trails mandated; criminal enforcement of privacy violations.
- Health Technology to Enhance Quality Act (S. 1262)Proposes a nationwide interoperable health IT system, strict adherence to HIPAA privacy standards, and the provision of grants to combine state and federal privacy laws.
- Wired for Health Care Quality Act (S. 1418)Adopts standard-setting processes from the American Health Information Collaborative; federal grants for providersneeding financial assistance and training in IT.
- Better Healthcare through IT Act (S. 1355)Establishes a national health information network; calls for privacy measures through compliance with the current HIPAA privacy rule.
For Further Information
- Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights-HIPAAwww.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Serviceswww.cms.hhs.gov/HIPAAGenInfo
- Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)www.hhs.gov/healthit
- American Health Information Management Associationwww.ahima.org/emerging_issues/2006StateofHIPAACompliance.pdf
©2007 The Triological Society