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