Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996. HIPAA is the strongest confidentiality protection ever enacted for patients and covers all medical information transmitted orally, written, or electronically. HIPAA is enforced by the Office of Civil Rights. There are two parts to HIPAA: Title I and Title II.
Title I is called Health Care Access, Portability, and Renewability and protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs. Title I of HIPAA regulates the availability and breadth of group and individual health insurance plans, prohibits any group health plan from creating eligibility rules for individuals based on health status, medical history, genetic information, or disability and limits restrictions that a group health plan can place on benefits for preexisting conditions.
Title II is called Preventing Health Care Fraud and Abuse and requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and protection of confidential medical information.