In response to growing concerns about keeping health information private, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The legislation includes a privacy rule that creates national standards to protect individuals' personal health information. Most health-care providers in the country are required to implement these standards by April 14, 2003.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, requires health care professionals to protect privacy and create standards for electronic transfers of health data. The Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services will enforce the regulations and impose penalties on institutions that do not make a good-faith effort on privacy and security.
HIPAA came about because of the public's concern about how health care information is used. HIPAA gives patients more control over their own health information. Tom Gallaher, MD, is taking steps to provide our patients with these patient rights, which include the right: