The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was signed into law on August 21, 1996 and was the result of efforts to reform healthcare. The goals and objectives of this act are to reduce paperwork, make it easier to detect fraud and abuse and it enables workers of all professions to change jobs even if they had pre-existing medical conditions. It also protects many workers who lose health coverage by providing better access to individual health insurance coverage and it guarantees security and privacy of health information.


Title I. (Healthcare Access, Portability and Renew ability) This section allows persons to qualify immediately for comparable health coverage when they change their place of employment. It eliminates some pre-existing condition exclusions and prohibits discrimination based on health status.

Title II. (Preventing Healthcare Fraud and Abuse; Administrative Simplification; Medical Liability Reform) Replaces the currently used non-standard transaction formats with a single set of electronic standards to be used throughout the industry. This system will help to easily detect and prosecute fraud and abuse.

Title III. (Tax Related Health Provisions) Addressed issues such as medical savings accounts, health insurance tax deductions for those who are self employed, and long term care services and contracts.

Title IV. (Application and Enforcement of Group Health Plan Requirements) Application and enforcement of group health plan provisions and clarifies continuation of coverage requirements.

Title V. (Revenue Offsets) This section addresses many issues included company owned life insurance, treatment of individuals who lose US citizenship.

The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information are designed to help keep the medical records of patients secure and confidential. Security is established through administrative procedures, physical safeguards, and technical security mechanisms to guard against unauthorized access via computer. Privacy topics include the rights of individuals, consent and authorization process/procedures and organized healthcare arrangements.