At Oral Surgery Associates of Eau Claire, we are committed to providing you with the highest quality of care. An essential part of this commitment is our dedication to protecting the privacy and the confidentiality of your medical information. Our patient privacy handbook has been prepared in response to new federal regulations that enforce the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which is known by the acronym HIPAA.
What is HIPAA?
Our promise at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Eau Claire, is to give our patients the highest quality health care while maintaining their confidentiality. We have always kept information about health confidential, sharing it only with people who need the information to do their jobs, such as insurance companies and referring dentists. Now, not only is it our promise, it is the law. The Privacy Rule ensures that personal medical information you share with doctors, hospital and others who provide and pay for healthcare is protected. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or “HIPAA” for short gives patients the right to gain access to their records, request amendments to their health information, and limit the ways the facility uses their information.
What brought about this law?
HIPAA is a broad law that covers a variety of issues. One goal was to enable people to easily move from one health insurance plan to another as they change jobs or become unemployed and allow providers treating patients to share information more easily.
The law requires health care providers and payers to use standard formats for common transactions such as submitting an insurance claim on a patient’s behalf. Today, with e-mail and access to the Internet, it is much easier for providers to share records, but it is also much easier for people to misuse the information they contain.
That’s why the law includes sections with requirements for protecting patient privacy and confidentiality and ensuring security of health information. Under the HIPAA privacy and security rules it is illegal under most circumstances to fail to adequately protect protected health information from unauthorized release or to release protected health information without permission.