When we need to get medical treatment, most of us will go and see a doctor or physician. If something happens to us that causes great pain from a sudden injury, we will go to the emergency room. As part of the process, we have to submit personal information about ourselves to the medical team that treats us. As with many organizations in life, these people will keep our personal details on record.
But what do these health care professionals do with our personal details? In the United States, those with health insurance are all covered by the HIPAA Privacy Rule. In today’s blog post, you will learn about your rights on health information privacy.
What is HIPAA?
HIPAA stands for “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.” It dates back to 1996 and was a bill signed by the then-president, Bill Clinton. HIPAA protects the health care cover that employees and their families have when workers change or lose their jobs.
If you have had a health insurance policy for 63 days or more, you can get an HIPAA health insurance policy. You also cannot get denied a health insurance policy because of pre-existing medical conditions.
The importance of privacy
We all know that health insurance providers ask for information on past medical conditions. But what happens to that information? That is where the HIPAA privacy rules come into play.
Many people worry about what organizations do with our personal information. After all, we submit information about ourselves in confidence. We don’t want that data to get sold to third parties, especially without our consent!
HIPAA regulations ensure set out strict rules for health care providers and insurance companies. Here are some of the things that you, as a consumer, have the right to know.
You can find out who has seen your medical records
There are always stories in the media about how data gets lost or stolen from organizations. Data theft often makes the headlines when personal information on large groups of people gets taken.
But another big problem about data is that some organizations will hand over that data to third parties! They do so in exchange for something – usually money!
Under the HIPAA privacy rules, you have the right to know who has seen your medical records. Health care professionals can’t share your details with your boss. Nor can share them with your health insurance company without permission. If you want to know who has seen your medical records, you have the legal right to ask.
You can block certain information from getting shared with other parties
Another benefit of the HIPAA privacy rules is that you can control who sees certain information. For example, you can ask your doctor not to share sensitive information with other doctors or nurses at the same clinic.
You can get a copy of your medical records
Do you want to find out what information doctors have on you? If so, you have the right to ask for that information!
In the majority of cases, they must give you that information within thirty days of your request. I hope this blog post has been useful for you today. Thanks for reading.