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How Does HIPAA Protect My Personal Health Information?

How Does HIPAA Protect My Personal Health Information?

HIPAA was created to keep all health information private, so it holds accountable anyone who breaches its rules

When someone suffers from an addiction, the last thing she wants is her health information to be revealed to others, perhaps especially her loved ones. She may feel insecure about revealing aspects of her past, because she may fear the possibility of other people knowing it (aside from medical personnel). This kind of fear can cause someone to avoid or halt treatment for addition, because she may believe that her health information is not being protected. Fortunately, in 1996, Congress passed HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which gives individuals more power and access to their health information while establishing guidelines to protect it.

What this Act means is that anyone who seeks medical care has the right to have his information protected unless he wishes to share the information. In other words, opium addicts can feel a sense of security to know that their health information, as well as their past medical issues, will remain protected, so they can have some added confidence to enter and complete addiction treatment. With the right support, you can seek help while knowing that your information is completely private.

How Does HIPAA Protect Me?

HIPAA privacy regulations require both health care providers and organizations (along with their business associates) to develop and follow procedures that ensure the confidentiality of an individual’s protected health information when it is being transferred, received, handled or shared. This rule applies to all forms of protected health information from paper, oral, electronic and etc. People who seek treatment for an opium addiction can expect HIPAA to provide the following services:

  • Gives patients more control over their personal health information
  • Sets boundaries on the use along with release of health records
  • Establishes safeguards which health care providers and others must achieve to protect one’s privacy of health information
  • Holds violators accountable with civil and criminal penalties for releasing protected health information
  • Creates a national standard to protect individual’s medical records

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, patients, including those receiving treatment for their opium addiction, are able to make more informed choices when seeking medical care for addiction, and they can expect to be reimbursed for care simply based on how their personal health information may be used. Included in the following are some additional examples on how recovering addicts can use HIPAA to their advantage:

  • Find out how their information is being used, along with certain disclosures of their information that have been made
  • Limitations on the release of information unless it is necessary for an individual’s treatment
  • Empowers patients to control certain uses, along with disclosures of their health information
  • Give patients the right to examine and obtain a copy of their own health records, and they can request corrections, if necessary

For opium addicts who are unsure of who will have access to their medical records both in the past and future, HIPAA alleviates the fear and stress of that information from falling into the hands of someone who is looking to use that information against the addict. Furthermore, if an individual gains unlawful access to the medical information and violates a HIPAA law, then that individual may have to face both civil and criminal charges.

Recovering addicts deserve privacy, and they get that service with HIPAA. Any individual who calls the treatment facility that an addict is in cannot obtain any medical information regarding the addict unless the addict authorizes it. No one has access to the individual’s medical records, exams or test results that someone may have completed. Furthermore, others who also receive addiction treatment have zero access to other addicts’ medical information.

With the unknowns that recovering addicts must face to achieve sobriety, having the confidence that their information is protected can ease some of the stress and anxiety. Furthermore, rest assured that people face penalties if that information is used illegally. When seeking treatment, ask the facilities about their HIPAA policies and procedures. If they are unable to provide that information or seem hesitant, then it is in your best interest to look at other facilities. It is also important that the facility can answer if it has had a breach regarding such privacy laws. It is the treatment facility’s job to protect both the addict and its employees by providing a safe environment. This act also includes keeping all confidential information secure from people who are not granted access to it.

Opium Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know is struggling with an opium addiction and is hesitant to enter treatment because she is unfamiliar with the laws that protect her medical health information, then please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to help you find the best treatment available. Learn what your options are and take your life back by calling us today!