||Oracle Tips by Burleson
Chapter 1 Introduction to HIPAA
and the insurance company would not have rejected
the record from his doctor.
Privacy of Information Finally,
HIPAA places a great deal of emphasis on the issue that affects
all of us in some form or other – privacy. Medical records are
considered private and should be protected, just like any other
tangible property, such as money. Prior to the law, the exact
nature of the protection and the responsibility of enforcing
said protection was not properly defined, and therefore there
were many ways for the information to leak out. HIPAA mandates
the protection by stressing that the data must be protected
strictly and any violation will be severely penalized. For
example, a leak of information calls for a fine of up to US
$250,000 per incident and may result in the imprisonment of the
executive in charge for a period up to 10 years. The severity of
the penalty and the personification of responsibility is enough
to make the executives of many organizations take this law and
the issue of privacy and information protection very seriously.
The law mandates that organizations must
establish a clear security policy that can be verifiable and, more
importantly, auditable. In the normal course of business in any
organization, some personnel will have to access data that is
considered sensitive, so prohibiting their use is not feasible.
HIPAA does not prohibit that access, but specifies that normal
access be recorded as a policy, which should specify who can access
what data, and any such access information should be recorded, or in
other words, audited.
In the story above, if
the requirements of HIPAA were satisfied, the information on John's
allergy would not have leaked out without his knowledge and would
The above text is
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