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Chapter 2 : What Is HIPAA?

HIPAA is the American Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. It provides confidentiality, security and transmissibility of health care information. In other words, HIPAA protects unauthorized disclosure (by covered entities) of any protected health information that pertains to a consumer of health care services.


HIPAA was created to establish fundamental standards in privacy, security and to simplify administrative duties.

  1. The Administrative Simplification (Title II: Subtitle F) part of HIPAA requires Health and Human Services (HHS) to incorporate national standards for electronic health care transmissions and national identifiers for providers, health plans and employers.
  2. This section of the bill is a way to create efficiencies and requires standard record formats, code sets for billing and identifiers.

Why was HIPAA created?

The potential consequences of not protecting privacy or security can be severe. For this reason, Congress passed HIPAA in 1996 to provide provisions for privacy and security protections.

security protections

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