HIPAA Basics

Newport Harbor Anesthesia Consultants follow HIPAA privacy and security regulations closely to ensure patient medical information is protected.  Our anesthesiologists and staff receive HIPAA training and notifications annually and anytime new regulations are released.  Below are some basic question and answers regarding HIPAA.  As a patient it is important to understand HIPAA privacy and security policies.

What is HIPAA?

What is HIPAA privacy?

What is HIPAA security?

Does Newport Harbor Anesthesia Consultants follow the HIPAA privacy and security regulations?

Is e-mail a HIPAA secure form of communication to discuss health issues or treatment?

How do I find out more about HIPAA?

 

What is HIPAA?
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.  The HIPAA Act was developed by the federal government to protect the confidentiality of a person's medical information.  It specifies requirements for the use and release of health records, and establishes safeguards to protect the privacy of health information.  This includes a series of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards for covered entities to use to assure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information. 

 

What is HIPAA privacy?
HIPAA privacy is the act of controlling who is authorized to access patient information and under what circumstances patient information may be accessed, used and/or disclosed to third parties.  Policies and procedures control privacy.

 

What is HIPAA security?
HIPAA security is the ability to control access and protect medical information from accidental or intentional disclosures to unauthorized persons.  Security is controlled by the use of technical controls.

 

Does Newport Harbor Anesthesia Consultants follow the HIPAA privacy and security regulations?
Yes, Newport Harbor anesthesiologists and their staff all follow HIPAA privacy and security regulations set by the government.  All health care providers, health care facilities, insurance companies and health care billing and clearinghouses must follow the HIPAA Privacy Rules.

Health care billing and clearinghouse organizations are companies that receive health care data and reformat the data for processing. This is typically used for sending information to health insurance companies and for billing purposes.

 

Is e-mail a HIPAA secure form of communication to discuss health issues or treatment?
No, Newport Harbor Anesthesia Consultant's e-mail is currently NOT a HIPAA secure method for communicating any sensitive medical information. You may contact us via e-mail and request a phone call back to discuss health issues or treatment that requires the exchange of sensitive medical information.  Questions or information that does not include patient medical information can be sent via e-mail as well.  If you contact us via e-mail you must read the PRIVACY POLICY and select the "I ACCEPT" checkbox stating you understand this e-mail is not secure.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, "Patients may initiate communications with a provider using e-mail. If this situation occurs, the health care provider can assume (unless the patient has explicitly stated otherwise) that e-mail communications are acceptable to the individual. If the provider feels the patient may not be aware of the possible risks of using unencrypted e-mail, or has concerns about potential liability, the provider can alert the patient of those risks, and let the patient decide whether to continue e-mail communications." For further information regarding the use of e-mail to discuss health issues and treatment visit, www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/faq/health_information_technology/570.html.

 

How do I find out more about HIPAA?
To learn more, please visit the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act website at www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/.