Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

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In 1996 the U.S. Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to create national standards for electronic health care transactions and unique health identifiers, among other purposes. Recognizing the increased risk to data in an electronic format, HIPAA required the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop regulations ensuring the privacy and security of certain health information. This topic page focuses on those regulations, known respectively as the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule, with additional information on the changes brought about by the HITECH Act.

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