HIPAA: Privacy Rule and Security Rule | The Differences you NEED to know!
There is a very tricky fine line when it comes to the understanding and properly navigating HIPAA ( Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 | ASPE (hhs.gov)). It can be quite confusing, especially when trying to decide what part is referring to the Privacy Rule and what part is dealing with the Security Rule.
What is the difference between the Privacy Rule and Security Rule? “The Privacy Rule, or Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, establishes national standards for the protection of certain health information. The Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Protected Health Information (the Security Rule) establish a national set of security standards for protecting certain health information that is held or transferred in electronic form.” Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule | HHS.gov, Summary of the HIPAA Security Rule | HHS.gov
In short: The Privacy Rule protects all information related to a person’s Health Care / Medical or Mental Health condition past, present, and future. The Security Rule protects all electronic records relating to a person’s Health Care / Condition.
HIPAA has a lot of complexities that we, as Health Care Professionals, don’t disseminate before applying daily. However, HIPAA can be a bit challenging to explain when faced with the need to. In Ultrasound, we are exposed to a unique complexity of situations that don’t normally come up in other areas of Health Care. We have patients, family members, and/or friends trying to record exams with the intent of posting the videos on social media platforms.
How do we break down the language to make it more understandable to our patients? How do we explain these rules in a way that will flow more easily into the conversation and leave the confusion behind? All without offending our patients.
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