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How HIPAA Violations Affect the Medical Billing Process Essay

When you hear HIV you always think of Aids are they the same or is there a difference. HIPAA Privacy Rule: HIPAA is a federal law that:

•Protects the patients’ privacy with their medical records and other health information provided to health plans, hospital, doctors and all other health care providers.

•Allows the patient access to their medical records.

•It gives the patient rights to how their personal information is used and exposed.

HIPAA has proven to be very successful in stopping discrimination against the people diagnosed with HIV and Aids by preventing anyone from knowing about their HIV and Aids status. In the year 2000 laboratories and doctors are required by law to report to their State Health Department all cases of HIV and Aids. They are reported to better measure the HIV and Aids epidemic, and how it is changing and to create programs for HIV and Aids prevention and offer medical which best serve affected people and their communities.

All this information is protected by confidentiality laws. Under this law identifying information regarding who has HIV and Aids can only be used to help the State Health Department track the epidemic and for partner notification this information cannot be shared with immigration and naturalization Service (INS), police, welfare agencies, landlords, employers and insurance companies. The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues guidelines influencing states to collect and report the data on HIV and Aids so they can track the epidemic on a national basis. The state health department will then remove all the personal information (name, address, etc.) from your test results and send the information to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Over the next several years HIV and Aids data will become the basis for funding formulas which will allocate federal money for care & treatment under The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act. This is the largest federally funded program in the United States for people living with HIV and AIDS. This act reaches hundreds of thousands of people every year with medical care, drugs, and support services. The program requires that health departments receiving money from the Ryan White program show “good faith” efforts to notify the marriage partners of a patient with HIV and AIDS. (www.Aids.gov)

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the T-cells in the immune system. This illness changes their immune system making people very vulnerable to diseases and infections. This condition worsens as it progresses corresponding to research the origins to this disease dates back to the late 19th or early 20th century in Western Central Africa. In 2008 worldwide there were

•33.4 million People living with HIV and AIDS.

•2.7 new HIV infections

•2 million deaths from AIDS

The disease was identified in the 1980s, and there is now known cure, but treatments and medicine can slow the course of the disease. The newest drug combination drug therapy can cost up to $20,000 in U.S. dollars a year. HIV is found in body fluids like semen and vaginal fluids, blood and breast mild. And can be passed through blood-to-blood and also sexual contact. Women can pass this to their babies through pregnancy, childbirth, and through breast milk. AIDS is (acquired immune deficiency syndrome or immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS is the disease caused by the HIV virus AIDS is the syndrome that appear in the advance stages of HIV infection, AIDS is a medical condition derived from HIV. HIV and AIDS are the same AIDS is the outdated name and HIV is the correct name.

There are three recognized ethical principles that apply to clinical and research ethics: •Respect refers to respecting the decisions of autonomous people and protecting the ones who lack decision making capacity and therefore are not autonomous and imposes a positive obligation to treat people with respect by keeping this information confident and keeping promises. •Beneficence imposes a positive obligation of the best interest of the patient. •Justice requires people to be treated fairly and often requires that benefits and burdens to be distributed fairly within society. Privacy is critical when it comes to HIV and AIDS, because of the sensitivity of HIV related information most patients don’t want to share this private and personal aspect of their life because it involves their sexual behavior or substance abuse.

This information can lead to stigmatization this can cause patients to worry about their privacy being protected, and they may be hesitant to see a doctor or remain in the care of a physician. It is vital to have health care providers express that they are committed to securing patient privacy. The law gives certain protection to or conditions. Electronic systems need to be able to identify and manage this data appropriately. HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are a whole different category with special privacy concerns. When releasing HIV and AIDS records for other purposes it is necessary to identify testing and treatment for these conditions through the use of red flags or warning messages. The electronic system simplifies exclusion or segregation of HIV test results to protect against release without patients proper consent from the patient.

Preferably a system will also flag treatment of HIV and Aids when producing copies of records. EHR systems must provide mechanisms that enable facilities that extra layer of protection for this information required under 42 CFR, Part 2 requires patient consent for disclosures of protected health information even for the purpose of treatment this consent must be in writing. When a health care provider providers care to an HIV and AIDS patient they seem to be walking and ethical tightrope even when they are aware of protocol about disclosing HIV status simple assumptions and carelessness can lead to devastating consequences for the patient and also legal ramifications. There are some things a health care worker can do on their own to protect private information while at work. •Turn off your computer when you walk away or not in use. •Set your computer with passwords to get access to confidential files. •Use a system that will trace who accesses confidential information. •Become familiar with the law train employees in proper disclosure protocol. •Never discusses a patients HIV and AIDS status.

Social ramifications exist if HIV and AIDS information is announced improperly. If a patients friends discover he or she has HIV and AIDS they won’t want to be around them due to the fear of catching the disease people will start to gossip spreading this private information destructing the life of the infected person. They will undoubtedly be treated differently. He or she could have difficulty finding employment if the employer finds out about the disease because of inappropriate disclosure of medical information. If a person is living with HIV and Aids you are protected against discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Under these laws, discrimination means that you are not allowed to participate in a service that is offered to others or you are denied a benefit, because of your HIV disease. ( http://aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/just-diagnosed-with-hiv-aids/your-legal-rights/civil-rights/index.html ) HIV and AIDS in the workplace gets larger each year, because it affects people between ages 25 – 44 and they make up 50% of our 121% million workers. There are laws to protect people with HIV and AIDS in the workplace. •Americans with Disabilities act of 1990 (ADA) does not allow employment discrimination because of disability and covers businesses with 15 or more employees. •Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Federal and state governments work with more than 100 million working men and women and 6.5 million employers.

•The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) this act to the private-sector of employers of 50 or more employees and within a 75 mile radius of their worksite. A person is entitled to a total of 12 weeks of job protected unpaid leave in a 12 month period. •The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Addresses obstacles to healthcare you can face if you are HIV and AIDs positive. Protecting you discriminatory treatment from your insurance company, and also protects your privacy rights. •The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation act of 1986 (COBRA). This law allows employees the option to keep their health insurance at their own expense after getting laid off, fired from a job. Allowing them to purchase health insurance for a period up to 36 months. HIV and AIDS not only hurt people with the disease but also their families and families. According to the International Labor Organization believes that by the year 2020 HIV and AIDS will lower the workforce by 24 million people. This will cost the workforce higher costs of medical insurance as well as work absences related to health, hiring and costs of retraining.

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