HIPAA Full Form | What is the Full Form of HIPAA?

What is the Full Form of HIPAA?

The full form of HIPAA is “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act”.

What is HIPAA?

From dentistry to your personal doctor's waiting room, if you've received any type of health services over the past two decades, you've seen a paper or heard the term "HIPAA" used. Established as a law in 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (also known as "HIPAA") to protect patients while establishing the privacy and security of individual information.

But what is HIPAA, exactly?

HIPAA helps protect your privacy and personal health information. For example, if you have tests run or X-rays taken, your doctor or dentist cannot discuss their findings or your health with anyone unless you have given permission to do so. Privacy rules ensure that your health condition is not disclosed to anyone else without your consent.

With respect to dental insurance, HIPAA mandates all electronic health information (such as your claims and digital records) to be securely stored or transferred where it is needed to process your insurance claims, reimbursements, checks, etc. Not read or accessed by anyone other than the other person.

Everything from your name and Social Security number to your personal records are covered under HIPAA.

HIPAA Violation

When an insurance company or healthcare provider fails to properly protect the privacy of sensitive information or a patient's health data, they may be fined. When HIPAA was first implemented in 1996, fines were more common. Since then, providers have worked to establish strict guidelines and privacy practices that make it more difficult for third parties to collect their patients' private information.

Poor handling or storage of your personal information will otherwise result in the opportunity for that data to be stolen, placing you at risk and the at-fault party susceptible to heavy fines. Depending on the violation, providers could be fined up to millions of dollars.

Who is affected?

Every patient in the United States is protected by HIPAA, whether they are seeing a dentist or any other type of healthcare provider. The same laws apply to insurance companies as well. While patient privacy has always been a concern in health care, HIPAA places additional responsibilities on non-healthcare personnel who work with insurance claims and processing, even though they may not be the person administering treatments or services. This includes people processing your information or checking you in at the reception desk.

Required Training

Dental and medical offices are legally required to have all employees trained on current HIPAA rules and regulations, with updates on a regular basis. Refreshments like these are a good reminder to keep up with changes in electronic data usage and technological advancements that are constantly changing. But written and verbal communications are also governed by HIPAA laws, which is why a dentist may not be able to “chat” with you on Facebook or texting, or the treatment coordinator escorts you to a private area. Discuss your treatment with estimated insurance coverage.

Forms Issued

Before your dental insurance can be filed or a treatment plan discussed with your loved one, you will need to sign the appropriate release forms with your dentist's office. Otherwise, they cannot legally process claims or review concerns with your family.

For more information or specific questions about what your dental provider does to protect your personal information, ask to speak with a practice or office manager.

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