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Thanks to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you are reminded at each visit that your health information will be private and used only for making sure you get the care you need.
Before HIPAA, a University of Illinois study found, more than one-third of Fortune 500 companies looked at health records or health information as part of their employment decisions.
Imagine worrying that a potential employer could refuse to hire you or your current employer could fire you if they found out that:
Before HIPAA, this happened. It happened to FBI agents. It happened to truck drivers. It may have happened to you or someone you know. Since HIPAA was signed into law in 1996, employers have not been allowed to see your health information.
Though these steps may sometimes frustrate you, they are needed to protect your health information and that of others.
Your adult child. Do you have a child going off to college? If your child is 18 or over, you may not be able to receive their health information as you had in the past. If you want to know about the health care services your child receives, you’ll need to complete an authorization form — with your child’s written permission.
Helping loved ones with HIPAA. You notice an elderly family member having odd spells or memory issues. You want to know about their care and if there is anything you should be doing to help them. You’ll need an authorization or a power of attorney for health care from your family member before you can help. Completing one of these documents ahead of time can reduce the stress when an issue happens.
Your spouse has a serious illness. Cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease, renal failure. These and other conditions can get critical fast. Make sure you can make decisions that will honor their wishes. Maybe they want to donate their body to science or to be an organ donor. Maybe they want a Do Not Resuscitate order on file. Be sure to complete the necessary forms so you can make or enforce those decisions if your spouse isn’t able to.
Privacy laws like HIPAA have made a difference in making sure your health problems are kept private. Make sure you know how they work and what you may need to do if you want others close to you to know more.
Originally published May 16,2016; Revised 2017, 2020, 2021
HIPAA is a critical aspect of healthcare privacy, and this article provides useful information to ensure compliance. For researchers and students looking to enhance their academic writing, A Research Guide offers valuable insights into proper formatting and citation styles. Understanding the nuances of HIPAA regulations is essential for healthcare professionals, and having a reliable research guide like 'A Research Guide' can be equally important for scholars to produce high-quality papers. Both aspects contribute to the overall advancement of knowledge and ethics in their respective fields.
Thank you for the article! Many students today do not take care of their health and do not take into account the peculiarities of their body, which can lead to bad consequences. For example, I found out about my own dyslexia at a doctor's appointment, and it became a new impetus for me to look for other ways to learn information. That's how I discovered the StoryboardThat service. It was a lifesaver for me! You can simply create storyboards at StoryboardThat, or you can use the online book creator to make all the learning material more visual and easier to digest. Thank you for sharing the interesting information about all these complicated privacy requests from doctors, it was quite helpful for me!
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