HIPAA turns 10

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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was passed 10 years ago this month. Its implementation has permanently changed healthcare data collection and storage in all sectors of healthcare, including long-term care, industry experts say.

Better known as HIPAA, the law is mainly recognized for promoting electronic transmission standards for claims data, regulating both the privacy of electronic medical records, and enhancing the security of medical data storage and transmission. It has affected the way many providers operate, industry experts told Modern Healthcare magazine. Many contend that the new push to expand information technology in healthcare stems primarily from HIPAA.

Over the years, providers in the market for new information technology now expect and even require that systems offer HIPAA compliance, according to IT vendors. Vendors say that HIPAA is now focused on the privacy implications of electronic health-records systems for healthcare conglomerates or entire communities.