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2 pages/≈550 words
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Health, Medicine, Nursing
English (U.S.)
MS Word
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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996 (Essay Sample)

Dr. Williams is a new graduate from an overseas medical school. He has passed all applicable licensing exams and requirements allowing him to legally practice medicine. Because he graduated from a medical school outside of the U.S. he experienced a hard time finding a full-time permanent position. Dr. Williams knows that his classmate and friend, operates a medical clinic in another state. The clinic provides abortion services and is very profitable. Dr. Williams decides to open a similar clinic. One of Dr. Williams' patients, Joan, suffers injuries as a result of an error by Dr. Williams. This was witnessed by an assistant (YOU) who no longer works with Dr. Williams. Anticipating a lawsuit, Dr. Williams shows Joan's medical records to a friend for advice. His friend tells Dr. Williams to contact his medical malpractice insurance carrier. Please prepare your responses for the following questions: 1. Discuss whether there has been a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)? 2. If Dr. Williams is in violation of HIPAA, might he be subject to criminal prosecution and, if found guilty, what penalties might he face? source..
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996
Before attempting to answer the questions relating to Dr. Williams conduct, it is important to introduce the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act on which this assignment is based. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was legally established and adopted by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with the aim to facilitate standard health care related electronic transactions as well as ensuring insurance for employees after they leave their employers, (Krager & Krager 2008: 1). A key provision of HIPAA is the Privacy Rule which sets privacy standards for individually identifiable health information; also known as protected health information (PHI), (Krager & Krager 2008: 20-26). This essay will briefly highlight on provisions of HIPAA and apply them to establish that Dr. William violated the provisions of this Act. Possible penalties for Dr. William`s infringement of the Act will be outlined at the end of this essay.
The HIPAA privacy rule aims at the protection of any personally identifiable health information from unauthorized disclosure. The individually identifiable health information includes; information regarding health care claims, documented doctor`s visits, health plan eligibility, referral certifications and authorization, health care claims and benefits and health care status among other personal information. The HIPAA privacy rule applies to entities such as health care providers who transmit health information in electronic form, health plans ( health insurance payers) and also to health care clearing houses both in the public and private sectors. This means that individuals including the directors, employees, or officers of the covered entity, where the covered entity is not an individual, may also be directly criminally liable under HIPAA in accordance with principles of corporate criminal liability, (Tan 2009: 129).
The covered entities therefore have a duty to adopt writte...
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