Rapid development of Internet and information technologies has affected all spheres of our life. Health care is not exclusion. Besides new advantages, these trends have brought new potential dangers, including increased accessibility of personal information for general public. This paper is devoted to discussion of the key provisions concerning privacy protection of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, which was supposed to provide mechanism to ensure privacy in health care-related issues in the era of global communications.
However, security provisions of the HIPAA may become limited as to man’s capabilities in taking over even the latest and the most complex technological innovations that it may use. Man’s unlimited capabilities with the use of technology provide him the ability to discover the unlimited access in cracking several information through his technical know-how. Sharing of any kind of information among significant institutions in the society might threaten an individual’s security.
He might lose his dignity and a sense of well-being if relevant information will be disclosed in the public. This may not only lead him to lose his sense of self-identity because the disclosure of significant information in his personality might ruin his career that may eventually ruin his life. In a society where there is tough competition, where only the fittest survives, every single bit of information is very important to a person. Man is privileged therefore, that he has his own right to his privacy.
He has the need to protect his personal information such that he would remain complete and dignified of himself. He develops within himself a pride of oneself because for keeping the most relevant information in his life secured. With all this being said, a training plan related to HIPAA, use, concepts and approaches is very necessary. Healthcare Privacy (Theoretical Background) An individual’s right to his privacy is one of the most critical issues especially in a fast-changing society as the United States.
It is one of the most significant aspect in the life of each member of the society such that it provides a person the security and the confidence that he needs in facing every challenge that he may undertake. The loss of his personal privacy however may affect his confidence such that he may feel other people taking over his life with the use of even a bit of information about his personal life. One of the most important personal information relevant to a person’s privacy would be his medical record.
A person’s medical history, healthcare, healthcare insurance and all other information related to his health are information that needs to be kept among himself and the people directly involved in such information – it could be his personal physician, insurance agency, or it could also be his direct employer who keeps track of his record for employment purposes, and it could at the same time be his family. These people who may gain direct information about his health-related information may also be the attending caregivers especially when the individual was confined in the hospital.
Any single information that may be disclosed of from these factors may allow him to feel being robbed of his own individuality. Getting a hold of all his personal information in tact develops dignity and pride for the person. It gives him a feeling of a complete personal well-being especially in a society where there is tough competition. A society where a single information may ruin the life of an individual using that bit of information with the aid of the new technologies that arise tremendously.
There had been several cases of people’s privacy being invaded because of the extreme use of new technologies by other people and the media. Media in particular has become more upfront and more brutal when it comes to giving out information that they thought would be too interesting to the people. And because the society is at the same time too eager to know more of any information about each of its members, they try to dig out information as best they could, sensationalize it and make malicious comments regarding that information.
Technology has at the same time played an important role as to the acquisition of this information. Man’s curiosity and intelligence makes him look for whichever ways he could to gather information that would satisfy his curiosity and his need for more information – malicious information that is. Man uses this information in his own personal intention to live up to the society where competition is the name of the game. The more information that you have, the more weapons that you will possess, thus, the more chance for you to survive in this society.
The many security implications of e-commerce are regularly reported, and the impact of cyber-crime upon online transactions is extensively studied. However, the effects of poor security on the behemoth American healthcare system aren’t ignored but certainly get much less attention (Security and the state of American healthcare, n. d. ) The HIPAA, however tries to address to these issues in the healthcare security of an individual.
There had been several provisions and rules implemented trying to comply with the society’s need for the right to privacy especially in terms of healthcare information – his medical history and all other factors related to it. Healthcare insurance and healthcare institution or facilities had at the same times started using the technology for portability and efficient accessibility of information for their patients, as well as for them. The clients/patients could have an easy accessibility whenever they would need information with regards to their personal healthcare needs.
Insurances made information readily available for their clients in the internet whenever they need to probably check their status or the plans that they have acquired from them. But the availability of these medical information in the internet through the different healthcare providers as well as the government, threatens one’s right to keep this significant information to the public with the HIPAA provisions. The implementation of the HIPAA therefore becomes a threat to every individual in the US federal government.
A person’s right to his healthcare information privacy has an even higher possibility of being intimidated. If you look at the healthcare privacy issue, you quickly realize that many of the concerns dovetail general issues regarding network security, including how to prevent the divulging of personal data about individuals to sources that should not have access to that information, how secure the Internet is, and the use of encryption and digital certification (Security and the state of American healthcare, n.
d. ) On individual privacy – a single, accidental disclosure of a patient’s health problems could create a greater financial liability and loss of institutional prestige than all but the very largest e-business transactions on the internet (Security and the state of American healthcare, n. d. ). Employers and competitors may use this single information for their benefits. They may disclose critical information to the public that might affect one’s credibility and lose one’s career.
Any health maintenance organization taking an academic approach to risk management would probably agree that strong security measures could be cost-justified. But are the security problems of healthcare readily understood, and do we have a consensus of solutions? (Security and the state of American healthcare, n. d. ) The White House recently proposed the development of a set of national standards for the protection of medical record confidentiality. Improper disclosure could reportedly result in up to 10 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $250,000.
While hard time is always a deterrent to the people, $250,000 would probably only cover the first month’s legal fees for a liability suit against a large hospital that inappropriately divulged a list of HIV-positive patients (Security and the state of American healthcare, n. d. ) The White House proposals also include an electronic-signature for verifying patient identity and medical record authenticity, as well as EDI standards for claims and reporting medical procedures. The need for these standards was mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) (Security and the state of American healthcare, n.
d. ). Meanwhile, hospitals, HMOs and other groups seeking to dominate healthcare within their market develop their own closed networks for patient records, billing and claims processing. The combination of a fear of Internet security issues and the entrepreneurial urge to grow the business has led to multiple, proprietary networks within medical clinics and very complicated record-keeping procedures for traditionally resource-thin doctors’ offices. (Security and the state of American healthcare, n. d. )