Is COVID-19 Unraveling HIPAA?

Written by Kevin L MabryHSN


Let’s Recap

The Insurance Portability &amp Accountability Act (HIPAA) was produced in 1996 to safeguard patients as well as their privacy, so if you’re in healthcare, you know this and understand what it really means.  Having a goal to make sure that people could maintain medical health insurance unemployed, thus the “Portability” area of the name plus a second, and demanding goal, to deal with the “Accountability” of insurance to safeguard the confidentiality a part of patient information and knowledge.  This meant mandating standards of privacy for electrotonic protected health information (PHI) and knowledge which was uniform when transmitted throughout care.  All of this resulted in health plans couldn’t deny eligibility according to health status health conditions, mental illness, genetic information, disability, along with other proof of insurability.

Even though it is apparent since this law was necessary, let’s dig much deeper into why it was essential. For instance, should you be struggling with a mental disorder, you may avoid seeking treatment since it becomes “part of the record” then one that the future employer might see like a risk element in employing you.  You might (and incredibly likely) avoid treatment, hesitant to take that chance.  With HIPAA, you can ask for the medicine and it between both you and your physician.

Did COVID-19 Undo HIPAA? 

Using the start of COVID-19, work for Civil Legal rights (OCR) needed to relax these laws and regulations as we’ve discussed formerly, but there appears to become one question that continues to be unclear, and that’s: Just how much PHI ought to be shared?

The Nation’s Law Review lately discussed this in depth, groing through the instances that set precedent with other situations which were relevant.  They used a good example of the main difference in Nj and California to exhibit how different states were revealing the identifiable information openly regarding COVID patients.  New Jersey’s Health Commissioner produced a story round the state’s first patient that gave out a lot detail, it incorporated hobbies, job, marriage status, as well as his other health diagnoses.  On the other side of the united states in California, minute information on an individual have not been released.  This decision took it’s origin from the discrimination that may follow should an organization be recognized as testing positive.  For instance, a few of the first cases were from ethnic those who had lately traveled to China, and identifying them as a result might have provided an unjustified need to create bias or prejudice.  Does HIPAA safeguard the privacy of the individual or even the place?

Just how many details is really essential to share and also to whom could it be okay to see?  This will have to become more clearly outlined and defined, otherwise, as you can tell, the spectrum is simply too broad to state that there’s even some resemblance towards the HIPAA which was in position pre-COVID.

Once we progress through this pandemic and get the best way through it, we keep the main thing on all making decisions, what’s the easiest method to safeguard most.

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