The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was enacted August 21, 1996. Title II of HIPAA includes the Administrative Simplification Act, which requires improved efficiency in healthcare delivery by standardizing electronic data interchange (EDI) and mandating the protection of patient confidentiality (privacy) and the security of health data through the setting and enforcing of standards. HIPAA Title II requires:
- Standardization of electronic patient health, administrative, and financial data.
- Unique identifiers for employers, health plans, and health care providers.
- Standards protecting the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was signed into law on February 17, 2009, to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. Subtitle D of the HITECH Act addresses the privacy and security concerns associated with the electronic transmission of health information, in part, through several provisions that strengthen the civil and criminal enforcement of the HIPAA rules.
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