If you have visited a medical or dental practice in the last few years, you were probably handed your copy of the HIPAA legislation that protects your privacy regarding your medical/dental data. But what exactly does that mean to the individual and, more importantly, to the organization or practice entrusted with your personal medical information? Let’s explore exactly what this HIPAA legislation means.   Three Areas of HIPAA Compliance The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a set of statutes designed to protect your health records both in hardcopy and electronically. Medical and dental practices are bound by law to protect this information while in use, between insurance companies and vendors, both while in storage and during electronic transmission. The details can get rather complicated, but in general, practices must safeguard your medical data in three main ways: technical safeguards, administrative safeguards, and physical safeguards.   What is “Protected Health Information?” These three areas of compliance mean that your Protected Health Information (PHI) or electronically Protected Health Information (ePHI) will be safeguarded administratively, in transit, and on the hardware/software of a medical practice. But what exactly constitutes “protected health information”? Here is a quick list to help you understand.   Who is Covered by HIPAA? Practically all health plans, health care clearinghouses, health care providers, and endorsed sponsors of the Medicare prescription drug discount card are considered to be “HIPAA Covered Entities” under the Act.   What are the Rights included in HIPAA? On a personal level, beyond the IT world that we live in, HIPAA allows for certain rights such as:   Resources If you have further questions about your personal rights, see our list of resources below. If you have concerns about the IT aspect of HIPAA, call Spectra Networks for more information at 978.219.9752, or visit our website.   HIPAA Journal The HIPAA Guide HIPAA Questions and Answers ]]>