What you need to know about HIPAA. If you work in the field of health care, you’re more than likely heard of HIPAA law. HIPAA stands for health insurance portability and accountability act. This act was set into motion in 1996. The staff at Sugar Land Chiropractors practice following HIPAA guidelines in all areas. The main purpose of HIPAA is to protect and secure patient medical data as well as patient insurance information and other personal information regarding the patient. There are 3 parts to HIPAA. The privacy rule, the security rule and the breaching notification are the 3 parts of HIPAA. The privacy rule defines patient health information (PHI) as protected health information as any held by a covered entity which concerns health status, the provision of health care for payment for healthcare that can be linked to the individual. This part of HIPAA was updated on April the 21st 2005 in order to address the addition of electronic protected health information. The Security Rule covers how a patient’s information is protected which is very important to the Staff of Sugar Land Chiropractors. The next part of HIPAA is the breach notification rule. This rule pertains to what constitutes a breach of security and the steps that are necessary if a security breach occurs.

The reason HIPAA was created is because of the following reasons which the staff at Sugar Land Chiropractors understand: 1) to improve the portability and accountability of health insurance cove0rage for employees between jobs, 2) to combat fraud and abuse within the health care industries, 3) to promote the use of medical savings accounts, 4) to provide insurance cover for employees with pre-existing medical conditions, and 5) to simplify health insurance administration. The privacy and security rules were put into place to ensure that: 1)) a patient has a right to control access to their own information, 2) a patient is not required to disclose information about any health care they receive, 3) all health care providers take the necessary steps to determine how patient information is disclosed and. 4) the patient grants permission to use their personal information for marketing fund raising or research purposes period

If you are working in the healthcare field, such as the staff at Sugar Land Chiropractors, it is important to comply with the HIPAA laws. There are several steps to take in order to stay compliant with HIPAA laws. Here are ways to maintain compliance with HIPAA. 1) keep patient records out of public reach, 2) be careful not to reveal personal information about patients to other patients, 3) do not sell or otherwise released patient information to 3rd parties, 4) obtain consent from the patient themselves before releasing information to any unknown party, 5) protect the unique access ID and password that you use decide on to your personal computer and 6) ensure that you are only releasing patient health information or electronic patient health information to individuals with access

You might ask “Am I allowed to discuss my client’s treatment with others”? And the answer to this question is as a standard practice you may only discuss your client’s diagnosis and treatment plans with others if you have the client’s permission. It is always important to understand when you need the patient’s permission to share their information as the staff of Sugar Land Chiropractors understand the importance of this. You might also ask “If I am worried about my client can I reach out to family members?” At any time if you are concerned or believe that your client is in imminent harm or poses a threat to self or others you may act in good faith and contact law enforcement and or family members. Can I contact the police if I’m worried about my client? It is very important to understand how your patient is feeling and thinking. Any time we feel a patient might hurt themselves or others, we at Sugar Land Chiropractors are careful to report this to the proper authorities in order to protect the patient.

Yes, you may act in good faith and contact law enforcement. Can minors make their own decisions about mental health treatment? You might think that the answer to this is automatically “no” However, the answer to this question varies by state most states consider any individual under the age of 18 to be a minor and unable to consent to treatment although some states do allow minors as young as 12 to consent to treatment. Here at Sugar Land Chiropractors, we understand the importance of understanding the law as it applies to health providers and patients. Do I need to share my minor’s client’s health records with their parents? The answer depends on your state law specifically whether or not minors in your states are able to give consent to treatment. In most states a parent or guardian will have either complete or limited access to minors’ records. Even if patient a guardian is not granted access to minor’s records by law you may choose to share your minor client’s personal health information with them if you believe it can prevent them from doing harm to themselves or others. Can concerned family and friends share information with me question? Yes, if your client’s family or friends are concerned, they may come to you and share information. This information should be kept in confidence. It is not necessary for you to disclose this information to your client.

To summarize HIPAA, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the main thing that Sugar Land Chiropractors want to remember is that patients usually trust their health care providers and staff to protect their privacy along with their medical records and personal information with respect and discretion. A person working in the healthcare field, like Sugar Land Chiropractors, should make sure they understand all aspects of HIPAA, health insurance portability and accountability act. It is imperative that each person in the healthcare field understand exactly how to protect the patience information period