The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is a federal statute enacted for the purpose of:
- providing U.S. citizens with better access to health insurance
- assuring the portability of health insurance coverage when employees switch employers (dental and vision health care plans were excluded from this provision)
- implementing a federal health care fraud and abuse control program
- reducing the administrative costs associated with health care
- regulating the maintenance, transmission, security and privacy of electronic health information, and
- simplifying and encouraging electronic commerce (such as e-claims) in the health care industry
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the federal agency that developed the regulations for HIPAA. There are two componentes of HIPAA impact dental practices: privacy of patient information and security of records.
For other questions about HIPAA, contact Kesha Dixon at (800) 589-2632, ext. 452.