What HIPAA Does to Protect You

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” These were immortal words written by the infamous Dr. Seuss himself. His imagination was vivid and he was quite the character, but everybody on this planet who has ever lived and/or is currently living is completely different than the last. Sure we all share similarities, instincts, and what not- but we are all genetically different beings and therefore think and react to situations differently and have different preferences. This is why there is chocolate and vanilla. Strawberry was decidedly not important in such matters. The point to the statement is that I believe some things in life are neither easier nor harder but more so it is a case by case basis. We all go through this list of trials and tribulations in life only to find some of us gaining riches above our wildest imaginations and some of us with mental disturbances landing us in places like psych wards and detoxification facilities. If it’s any consolation, I’m the latter of the two. It takes a lot out of you when somebody starts letting the narcotics lead their life and dictate which direction they will step in next. Fortunately and unfortunately, depending which side of the coin you’re looking at, a large portion of us chemical dependents wind up in some institution or another when our alcoholic thinking starts getting the better of us. As mentioned, this can be a blessing and/or a curse. Making your way into a detox or treatment program can not only help guide you with tools to be on the other side of addiction, but it can be done in a way that allows you to keep your anonymity and privacy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is just exactly that. This is a federal legislation that mandates confidentiality at its finest.

The Doc Protects Your Neck

HIPAA is essentially a large privacy rule in which all medical practitioners have to abide by. Not just practitioners, but anybody working in a medical facility, such as a detox center, that has a client to superior relationship or is a subcontractor in any form having to do with the medical issues or patients at hand. This well received federal law gives you rights over your health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information. It gives patients more control over their health information and sets boundaries on the use and release of their health records. The act itself applies to all forms of protected health information, whether electronic, written or oral. What this helps to ensure is a closed mouth policy in open door policy establishments. This bill has changed a lot in the health fields of America. It was signed in 1996 and has changed the game as far as confidential records go. With established Health Institution laws in place, we the patients, are protected in a comforting manner in regards to our personal information. Any information that doctors, nurses, or other healthcare providers put into a medical record is only allowed to be viewed by that specific physician. This includes conversations had with the doctor or conversations the doctor has with another doctor in regards to your file. This vulnerable information is confined along with your billing, insurance, living or any other information regarding personal details.

confidential medical records

So how is this law implemented nationally? It seems as if there is a lot to uphold in order to not break any federal laws. Well, there is a lot to pay attention to, but it’s a matter of being able to address specific situations only when appropriate. For starters, this federally regulated consent takes more than just giving your word. On the medical aspect of things- most practices, rehabilitation facilities, and health facilities require some form of special training to adhere to the law. This is to ensure that HIPAA laws are not broken and unnecessary prison time isn’t sentenced upon anyone. More so, it establishes appropriate safeguards that health care providers and others must adhere to in order to protect the privacy of health information. It also holds individuals who violate such laws accountable to federal or state charges and is not looked at too lightly when disregarded.

This idea here covers the transference of any personal health info to any other medical personnel- hence explaining the “Portability” part of HIPAA. To top that little bit of protection off, there is the fact that any information to be released outside of medical officials must be signed by the patient in question. This means that if John Smith gets in a car accident and winds up in the hospital, the practitioners on the scene cannot contact anybody but emergency contacts only. Even in a state of emergency, your privacy is your privacy. Making sure your personal information is not disclosed without your permission is the driving force behind the act.  It gives patients the right to examine and obtain a copy of their own health records and request corrections. In other words, HIPAA allows individuals to control the uses and disclosures of their health information at their own discretion. Who the patient wants to be involved with their case and how many people to be involved is entirely up to them at the end of the day. All the basic rights as human beings are covered at any time while being under the supervision of such institutions and there is a level of comfort that comes along with it.

Time to Protect Yourself

We all lead different lives, but at the end of the day, a lot of us deal with similar issues. Addiction and alcoholism are big ones, and if this is the case for you or a loved one, you are not alone. If you or your loved one is in need of detoxification due to substance dependency, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life in a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

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