A Survey of U.S. Laws for Health Information Security & Privacy

A Survey of U.S. Laws for Health Information Security & Privacy

Francis Akowuah (Department of Computer Science, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, USA), Xiaohong Yuan (Department of Computer Science, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, USA), Jinsheng Xu (Department of Computer Science, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, USA) and Hong Wang (Department of Management, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/jisp.2012100102
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Abstract

As healthcare organizations and their business associates operate in an increasingly complex technological world, there exist security threats and attacks which render individually identifiable health information vulnerable. In United States, a number of laws exist to ensure that healthcare providers take practical measures to address the security and privacy needs of health information. This paper provides a survey of U.S. laws related to health information security and privacy, which include Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA),Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH).The history and background of the laws, highlights of what the laws require, and the challenges organizations face in complying with the laws are discussed.
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Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act Of 1996 (Hipaa)

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act seeks to achieve two goals. First, it has provisions that help improve efficiency of healthcare delivery in the United States. Second, it promulgates provisions for increasing the number of Americans with health insurance coverage. Among other main provisions of HIPAA, this article keeps its focus on the Administrative Simplification provision. This provision standardizes the use of electronic health information and mandates the development of security standards and safeguards for the use of electronic health information. It also stipulates privacy standards for the Protected Health Information (PHI) (Nass, Levit, & Gostin, 2009).

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