What is Meaningful Use and How Does it Relate To HIPAA and HITECH?

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Healthcare data and privacy have been a priority for lawmakers and IT professionals for decades. Maintaining privacy related to health information, and giving ownership and agency over disclosure to patients, drives current regulations around Personal Health Information (PHI). The most important of these regulations, HIPAA, has undergone various changes and revisions over time to meet modern security demands. One of these changes, the implementation of HITECH and digital record keeping, includes several additional rules on managing digital health records, including the concept of “meaningful use.”

Here, we will discuss what it means when HITECH legal language encourages the meaningful use of health records and how that can impact compliance and security. 

 

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The 2021 Guide to HIPAA Compliance

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Table of Contents

  1. What is HIPAA?
  2. HIPAA Compliance Terminology
  3. What Are the Three Rules of HIPAA Compliance?
  4. What Is the HIPAA Privacy Rule?
  5. What Is the HIPAA Security Rule?
  6. What Is the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule?
  7. What Is the HITECH Act?
  8. What Is the Omnibus Rule?
  9. What Does HIPAA Compliance Entail?
  10. What Are the Penalties for Not Meeting HIPAA Compliance?
  11. What Can I Do to Ensure That My Organization is HIPAA Compliant?


What is HIPAA?

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. HIPAA was put into place to protect patient data from theft or loss. 

Why is this important? Private Health Information (PHI) is considered some of the most sensitive data that a person can have. It was determined that it was critical to protect PHI for patients and that this responsibility fell on healthcare providers who used that information for treatment, research, or billing purposes. 

With the emergence of electronic PHI (ePHI) and digital technologies like networked communication and electronic recordkeeping, HIPAA became that much more important. HIPAA was therefore conceptualized to protect ePHI no matter where it is. 

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