Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)


A Federal law that makes a number of changes that have the goal of allowing persons to qualify immediately for comparable health insurance coverage when they change their employment relationships. Title II, Subtitle F, of HIPAA gives HHS the authority to mandate the use of standards for the electronic exchange of health care data; to specify what medical and administrative code sets should be used within those standards; to require the use of national identification systems for health care patients, providers, payers (or plans), and employers (or sponsors); and to specify the types of measures required to protect the security and privacy of personally identifiable health care information. Also known as the Kennedy-Kassebaum Bill, the Kassebaum-­Kennedy Bill, K2, or Public Law 104-­191. 

The final version of the HIPAA Privacy regulations were issued in December 2000, and went into effect on April 14, 2002. Normally, rules go into effect 60 days after publication in the Congressional Record. Due to a glitch, the rules did not go into effect until April 14th instead of in February of 2001. 

A two-year "grace" period was included; enforcement of the HIPAA Privacy Rules begins on April 14, 2003. 

Related Terms: Administrative SimplificationAmerican Health Information Management Association 

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