The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, also known as HIPAA to anyone in the healthcare field, received an update this past week with the release of a new 536-page ‘HIPAA omnibus final rule.’ The momentous update clarifies patients’ rights as they pertain to health information. It also increases penalties and ultimately updates an outdated Act for a modernized, digital world. Let’s take a look at the main provisions in the 2013 update:
The greatest change in the HIPPA omnibus final rule comes for patients, and increases their instant access to their own digital health records. In the past, an ‘individual (was) entitled to receive a copy in the form or format requested if readily producible.’ However, if the physician did not use digital formatting, you got a hard copy and that was the end of it, if you could get that hard copy.