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Home > Privacy and Business > Medical Privacy > Current Issues: > HIPAA Rulemakings

HIPAA Rulemakings

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) contained provisions that required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create a National Standard Health Care Provider Identifier, Standards for Electronic Health Care Transactions and Code Sets, a National Standard Employer Identifier, Security and Electronic Signature Standards, Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, and a National Individual Health Identifier. In what can only be regarded as Orwellian newspeak, the HIPAA provisions requiring these rules were titled "Administrative Simplification."

While the law and regulations are (naturally) intended to reduce the costs and administrative burdens of health care, in the long run they will interfere with innovation and market processes, making health care more expensive and complicated to buy. They will not give patients more control over private information. In fact, the role of governments in providing health care has done more to compromise the privacy of medical records (and raise costs) than private providers ever could.


Administrative Simplification website, Department of Health and Human Services

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[updated 9/4/00]

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