Mercy hospital and HIPAA - Medicine Essay Example

The health insurance portability and accountability act enacted in 1996 was meant to protect people’s rights in two ways - Mercy hospital and HIPAA introduction. First by ensuring health insurance cover is accorded to individuals irrespective of whether they change jobs or become unemployed and secondly standardizing health care information systems across health care fraternity so that administrative work is simplified and prevent patients health care information is inaccessible to unauthorized viewers.

The basic concept and hence how HIPAA works is simple. Patient information has to be tabulated in a standardized format, EDI (electronic data interchange) must be highly secured, records must be confidential, medical data has to be uniquely identified to each entity as well as standardized formats for all data regarding insurance, finance and so on. By doing so, the Act hopes to ensure integrity of medical information is not compromised.


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The HIPAA compliance impacted Mercy hospital in various areas, for instance in the area of privacy and procedures. Clearly prior to Evans incident this area had been neglected. Staff had not been properly trained to ensure that only authorized persons had access to patient health information. Generally, all staff was impacted by the HIPAA compliance in that they were expected to be keener in notifying patients on the hospital privacy practices.

The fine levied against Mercy hospital was warranted because it violated a very sensitive issue. Privacy rights are very sensitive because if such information fell into the wrong hands the possible consequence would be disastrous. Insurance fraud, discrimination at the work place, interchange or mix up of patient records and medication and so on are popular cases arising from violation of privacy policy. Such fines should always be levied on institutions that violate HIPAA compliance in order to deter such happenings.


















Phoenix health systems. Last updated in 2006. Retrieved on 18 January, 2008 from

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