Health Information Confidentiality
The HIPAA is designed to protect the privacy of individuals’ health information. The Health Information and Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, in part, to strengthen the HIPAA rule and notification requirements in the case of a breach.
But information collected by various health departments, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) is typically “confidential,” not “anonymous.”
“Confidential” denotes identifiable information linking you to the subject matter, but which will not be disclosed.
“Anonymous” refers to the existing subject matter that cannot be linked back to you.
Using the South University Online Library or the Internet, research about HIPAA and the HITECH Act to find out how they protect health information of individuals. Based on your research and understanding, provide answers to the following questions:
- What are some safeguards that you think could be put into place to reduce fear among individuals and groups who oppose identifiable health data collection?
- Do the benefits of confidential health data collection outweigh the risks? Why or why not?
- What, according to you, is the purpose of HITECH?
- What are the new notification requirements? Do you feel these are sufficient? Why or why not?
- What possible HIPAA violations could occur with portable PHI?
- What strategies should be put into place to make sure these violations do not occur?
- What are the requirements that a covered organization must take in order to be in compliance with HIPAA?