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Buy custom The Privacy Rule essay

The Privacy Rule has provided a set of standards recognized nationally, that work to ensure that certain information related to health care is protected. The department of human services and health in the United States of America has issued a rule for privacy to ensure the implementation of HIPAA; the insurance portability and the Accountability Act. This rule was implemented in the year 1996. The rule addresses the protection of the individual information on matters of health. The rule also covers the standards of the individual rights of privacy, to control and understand the way their information on health is being addressed.

This privacy rule was formed with a goal of ensuring that the information on the health of an individual is purely protected, and at the same time not restricting the flow of information regarding health to the authorized personnel, in order to enhance the high quality health care, and the protection of the public with regards to well being and health. The rule was formed in such a way that, it balances between the information needed by the health personnel, and as well as protecting the privacy of such an information (Armstrong, 2005).

Case A

After the implementation of this rule in the year 1996, New Hampshire hospital and other health care units have undergone a series of changes, concerning the protection of the individual health information in the United States of America, and other parts of the world where the same rule applies. For the case where someone may access the health care information records of a colleague without permission, it is highly punishable after the implementation of this rule in the year 1996. Unlike the previous years before the implementation HIPAA, the identifiable information on the health of an individual, is highly protected by the health care associations. This information includes the individual mental health conditions for present, past or future times, health care provision to an individual or the payment of an individual regarding the provision of his or her health, for past, present or future.

Due to the implementation of HIPAA, the health organizations and the management allow the use of the de-identified health information, as provided by the rule. De-identified information is the facts the content of which is not enough, to identify the related individual. For the information to be de-identified, specific identifiers of the individual are removed from the information before they are used. Such specific identifiers may include names and address among others.

As it is provided by the HIPAA, the health care units and facilities, for instance New Hampshire has changed drastically as far as the information disclosure of an individual is concerned. The management may disclose the information of an individual, but only fewer than two facts. The information may be disclosed to the individual or the personal representative of that individual only under the special request to access, or accounting of revelation of their secured information related to health, and the relevant party when undertaking enforcement action, review or the investigation.

The New Hampshire hospital has gained it credibility, in terms of the services that they offer to their patients. This has been brought about by the maintenance of high standards of individual’s information protection, after the enactment of health insurance portability accountability act. The hospital management currently keeps the patients’ records in a secure place to avoid access to individual private information by other parties. Protected health information can only be disclosed to the person who is the subject matter of that particular information.

The management of the New Hampshire hospital has initiated changes in the records department, to make sure that there is no risk of the incidental disclosure or the use of private information related to health of an individual. If the health information of an individual is disclosed incidentally, it is permitted by the privacy rule, so long as the entity covered had taken the necessary safeguard requirements, to make sure that the information shared was limited enough, for one to know the directly associated individual. This may be done by removal of the individual names and replacing them with other secret codes, which someone cannot easily identify.

In the case where the disclosure of the information is to the patient’s interest, covered entities like the New Hampshire hospitals utilize the facility directories. A health care provider covered by the rule may rely on the permission of the individual private information, to list the name of religious affiliation and location in the directory. This information, for example, the religious affiliation may be disclosed to the clergy. While inquiring for the patient’s religious affiliation, members of the clergy are not required to inquire the individual by name.

Many health care entities, for example, the New Hampshire hospital have changed tremendously in the way they are protecting the individual’s private health information. The management does not allow the disclosure of such individual information, before the permission of the individual authorization. This rule applies especially when the information is not for the purposes of treatment, health care operations or payments. Individual information disclosure for the purposes of treatment is not conditioned by the covered entity, but this rule only applies on the limited circumstances (Baumer, 2000).

As it is provided by the rule, health care facilities have changed to provide only minimum information required. Disclosure of the unnecessary information that is not important for the use in the treatment is prohibited by the law.

Case B

Prior to the implementation of the health insurance portable accountability act, many health care facilities including West Allis Memorial Hospital Wisconsin, did not keep the privacy of the individuals information, as it is noticed in the case of jury in Waukesha. The emergency medical technician in Wisconsin disclosed the private information of an overdose individual, to the patient co-worker. However, after the implementation of the HIPAA rules in the year 1996, the disclosure of the individual private information ceased, because the hospital, was covered with the same rule.

West Allis Memorial Hospital management trains its employees on a daily basis, to make sure that they continue to comply with the rules of HIPAA. This training takes some time of the work, which health care providers would otherwise be doing in the hospital. The management of the hospital believes that, regular training of employees on the provisions of HIPAA will make them comply with the rules, especially the rule that is concerned with the protection of the health information of individuals (Lawson, 2003).

Ten years after the implementation of the HIPAA, there has been a considerable change in West Allis Memorial Hospital, concerning the privacy of the patient’s private data. The hospital management has provided security controls, on the access of the individual data or information. Computers in various departments are locked with passwords to limit access by the unauthorized personnel.

West Allis Memorial Hospital being a covered entity, the management has provided notice of practices that are private. These notices provide information to the employees of the hospital, on the disclosure and the use of the individual protected individual information. These notices are copies of HIPAA, which provide the duties of the covered entities, in ensuring the protection of the individual private information.

West Allis Memorial Hospital management has set aside communication channels that individuals may receive confidential information. The hospital has a designated number, which the provider may use to communicate with the individual. The hospital also is using the technique of shredding the documents, which contain individual private health data. The management has ensured the lock and key, in areas where the patient records are kept to ensure security on such medical records.

According to Armstrong (2005), West Allis Memorial Hospital as a covered entity has established and put into practice procedure policies, for request or routine recurring procedures for information disclosure. These procedures limit the disclosure of the private individual information. This provides the minimum disclosure, necessary to attain the reason for the disclosure. The review of breach disclosure by the individual is not required.

St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital in Mississippi, a proactive breach prevention strategy has dramatically reduced privacy violations involving nosy healthcare workers. The key to St. Dominic's breach prevention strategy is a combination of technology, employee training and a dose of fear.

HIPAA has led to the simple provision of the insurance services, by the hospital administration. This act provides for the department of health and other human services association, to implement the national standards for the electronic provision of the health care services.

Apart from the provision of portability of health insurance to the employee of America as it was initially meant for, HIPAA has gone further to provide the implication of the administrative functions. This is seen through the provision of standardized formats for a particular transaction transmission and provision of security for information by enhancing the security signatures (Ness, 2007).

Although the physicians felt that the implementation of the rule acts as a barrier to the acquisition of the necessary information for patient treatment, they have rated various organizations, putting into practice more regulation necessities, better at shielding the solitude of individual patient records, than organizations that have not put themselves under the cover of health insurance portability accountability act.

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