HIPAA’s Policy as an Emerging Issue/Trend in Healthcare
Jenna Marcott, Kara Becker, Siara Brooks, Stephanie Williams, Stephany Galeno
HCS 455: Health Care Policy: The Past and the Future
Professor Marilyn Ketchum
Areas of opportunity within HIPAA policy
The main goals of implementing HIPAA policy throughout healthcare was to be able to securely upkeep patient records and information. HIPAA also heavily focused on the ability to keep healthcare information flowing or portable. Which overall increases the efficiency of healthcare facilities.
Changing the norms of society
Shifting focus to efficiency and expansion
Created a call for politicalization
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA is a policy that was introduced into healthcare to push for reform and efficiency within the medical field that was the first of its kind. Some of HIPAA’s main goals was to be able to upkeep patient records in a secure method even when handled electronically. HIPAA also helped to keep the patients information flowing and more portable to be securely shared with other healthcare professionals that may be involved in the patients care. By implementing these new standards. HIPAA policy is hoped to overall increase the efficiency of medical facilities and their ability to provide care and navigate patient information. Not only was the implementation of HIPAA the first efforts of its kind, it also brought numerous new opportunities to healthcare. With HIPAA being the first policy calling for reform in these areas of healthcare, it called for politicalization and brought awareness to the issues. One opportunity was how HIPAA changed the norms of society to focus on the importance of the patient and keeping all medical related care secure. The focus shifted to more than just medical care, but to also focus on efficiency and expansion of healthcare services.
Challenges faced while implementing HIPAA
Although HIPAA has been in effect since it was introduced in 1996 and has continuously improved healthcare standards while handling patient information and the ability to keep patient information portable, there are many challenges that were faced while doing so. “In December 2020, the HHS had found organizations non-compliant with HIPAA in 69% of its investigations. So, even though compliance with the Act is time-consuming, it is also vital” (Das, 2021). Healthcare is always evolving which makes it more challenging for HIPAA to stay up to date and within standards.
Cyber Security breaches
Upkeep of compliance
Evolving with medicine and technology
Even with HIPAA being successful so far with implementing reform and a push for change in healthcare, it has faced many challenges getting to be where it is today. The challenges HIPAA policy implementation faces are continuous and will always need to be accounted for. However, this poses as one of the policy’s most difficult standard to upkeep. In December 2020, the HHS had found organizations non-compliant with HIPAA in 69% of its investigations. So, even though compliance with the Act is time-consuming, it is also vital” (Das, 2021). HIPAA policy encompasses a lot of information which medical facilities and individuals are required to be aware of and upkeep. However, with medicine and technology continuously expanding, it is very difficult for HIPAA policy to always be able to keep up to date and provide the latest information as to what rules to abide by. Medicine is flexible and many situations are based on case by case scenario, however all cases must adhere to proper HIPAA regulations. Another issue is the threat of cyber security breaches. When using electronic record keeping and transferring method, there is always an increased risk of information breach. However, by implementing proper security measures and keeping your system secure and private will help to eliminate these risks. By keeping information secure and private, medical facilities can create computer sign ins with username and passwords to track individuals movements and auditing work regularly.
Issues and reform
Das, S. (2021, February 11). Top challenges to HIPAA compliance. Healthcare Technology. Retrieved April 19, 2022, from https://www.healthtechzone.com/topics/healthcare/articles/2021/02/17/448037-top-challenges-hipaa-compliance.htm