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Critical Regulatory Issue Report

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Critical Regulatory Issue
In this day and age technology has become the way of life. People have access to their whole lives online. Consumers can shop, pay bills, and apply for credit with a simple click of a button. Some healthcare providers now have patient portals, where patients can access their medical records, review and pay their bills online and even schedule their own appointments. This is not only convenient but also makes sense with today’s technology. A patient portal is a Web-based access point that allows doctors and patients to communicate and share health information remotely, supplementing the ongoing management of the patient's care. While portals can't replace an in-office visit, they have many benefits: They are "designed to boost patient's involvement in their care," as portals encourage viewing test results and health documentation and can facilitate an ongoing doctor-patient dialogue. Additionally, portals can reduce costly paperwork by serving as online billing and payment centers (Healthcare IT) but with all of this technology and access to private information, how are consumers protected? How do they know their records are being kept confidential and not broadcasted online for everyone else to see? Patients and their private health information are protected through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act also known as HIPAA.
In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or the HIPAA was endorsed by the U.S. Congress. The HIPAA Privacy Rule, also called the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, provided the first nationally-recognizable regulations for the use/disclosure of an individual's health information. Essentially, the Privacy Rule defines how covered entities use individually-identifiable health information or the PHI (Personal Health Information). 'Covered…...

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