Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, was enacted (P.L. 104-191) by congress to protect access to health care, as well as the security of private health information. Title I of HIPAA deals with health plans, insurance, regulations, reforms for group health limitations, and protection of health care coverage. Title II of HIPAA specifically prevents health care fraud and abuse, simplifies administration, and reforms medical liability. Many of the laws ordained in Title II have a direct impact on medical collections such as confidentiality of patient information and payment processing. HIPAA sets forth definitions, rules, and penalties for violations. Any collector in medical collections will need a familiarity with the regulations of HIPAA as it pertains to their daily job function, specifically, private health information (PHI) and the rules regarding the use of PHI and the importance of protecting PHI.