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HIPAA FAQ's

 

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Link to the Health and Human Services HIPAA FAQ's Web Site

 

What are the penalties for failure to comply with HIPAA regulations?

 

 

 

 

What is the IBM iSeries Server?

 

The iSeries server line is IBM's proprietary midrange applications server. It has its roots in the IBM AS/400 series, but its current capabilities far exceed those of its predecessor. In addition to its established capabilities as an application server, it excels as a Web Server, Lotus Notes/Domino server, or as a Linux server. Its reliability, scalability, flexibility, and security, along with its very favorable Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) make it an outstanding choice for eCommerce and other high-demand applications.

 

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Do you support other platforms/servers?

 

We support all versions of Windows/NT/2000. Our specialists are fully qualified to install and manage Windows Server installations.

 

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What about UNIX?

 

While we have developed and supported applications on various UNIX platforms, we do not have the expertise to manage the UNIX servers themselves. Each form of UNIX (AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, etc.) requires specific training and experience. We feel that support of these platforms is best handled by trained specialists for each platform.

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I'm a health care provider. What is HIPAA and why is it important to me?

 

"HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1996"

 

On August 9, 2002, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson issued the first-ever comprehensive federal regulation that gives patients sweeping protections over the privacy of their medical records. The final regulation, which takes effect April 14, 2003, will ensure strong privacy protections without interfering with Americans' access to quality health care.

The federal privacy regulation empowers patients by guaranteeing them access to their medical records, giving them more control over how their protected health information is used and disclosed, and providing a clear avenue of recourse if their medical privacy is compromised. The rule will protect medical records and other personal health information maintained by certain health care providers, hospitals, health plans, health insurers and health care clearinghouses.

"Patients now will have a strong foundation of federal protections for the personal medical information that they share with their doctors, hospitals and others who provide their care and help pay for it," Secretary Thompson said. "The rule protects the confidentiality of Americans' medical records without creating new barriers to receiving quality health care. It strikes a common sense balance by providing consumers with personal privacy protections and access to high quality care."

 

 

Today, health plans, hospitals, pharmacies, doctors and other health care entities use a wide array of systems to process and track health care bills and other information. Hospitals and doctor's offices treat patients with many different types of health insurance and must spend time and money ensuring that each claim contains the format, codes and other details required by each insurer. Similarly, health plans spend time and money to ensure their systems can handle transactions from various health care providers and clearinghouses.

Enacted in August 1996, HIPAA included a wide array of provisions designed to make health insurance more affordable and accessible. With support from health plans, hospitals and other health care businesses, Congress included provisions in HIPAA to require HHS to adopt national standards for certain electronic health care transactions, codes, identifiers and security. HIPAA also set a three-year deadline for Congress to enact comprehensive privacy legislation to protect medical records and other personal health information. When Congress did not enact such legislation by August 1999, HIPAA required HHS to issue health privacy regulations.

Security and privacy standards can promote higher quality care by assuring consumers that their personal health information will be protected from inappropriate uses and disclosures.

In addition, uniform national standards will save billions of dollars each year for health care businesses by lowering the costs of developing and maintaining software and reducing the time and expense needed to handle health care transactions.

 

What are the penalties for failure to comply with HIPAA regulations?

 

The law provides for significant financial penalties for violations:

 

General Penalty for Failure to Comply:

Each violation: $100.
Maximum penalty for all violations of an identical requirement: May not exceed $25,000.

 

Wrongful Disclosure of Individually Identifiable Health Information:

Wrongful disclosure offense: $50,000, imprisonment of not more than one year, or both.
Offense under false pretenses: $100,000, imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both.
Offense with intent to sell information: $250,000, imprisonment of not more than 10 years, or both.

 

 

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