There are several issues that can come about concerning patient’s privacy. Years ago there were no laws in place pertaining to patient’s privacy or rights. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which came into play on August 1996 that was placed into law under the leadership of President Bill Clinton (Physicians Billing Associates International, 2006).
This Act (HIPAA) contains a delivery for health insurance portability, tax-related delivery abuse control, and fraud, with profits to equalize delivery, administrative simplification ingredients, and group health plan ingredients, (Physicians Billing Associates International 2006). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act were placed as a customary law to defend an individual medical records and their health coast-to-coast. The reason why this act was put into action is to assist healthcare employees to provide a better environment individual patient’s pertinent, medical information.
There is a rule in the HIPAA law that affect a person’s health plan; This rule provides healthcare employees with information that’s essential to a person’s health, prescription, and vision, and other medical information to be transmitted effectively and safe. This paper will discuss How Rite Aid pharmacies notify their customers how their personal information is revealed and how they are safeguarded against infringement of their rights, and to ensure these customers that their information remains safe and protected, and does follow the HIPAA privacy laws as implemented.
Customers would also be assured of the law suit that came about as Rite Aid had to pay $1 million dollars to reconcile HIPAA privacy situation (Physicians Billing Associates International, 2006). Rite Aid pharmacies recently posted an article involving patient’s privacy, which explained how the patients information might have been exposed and recycled, also how to obtain information disclosed by the pharmacy. (Rite Aid Privacy, 2012). This issue about the Rite Aid Pharmacies was issued to alert customers how this information could affect their privacy.
However if the information was infringed upon, this would be detrimental to a patient regarding identity theft. However Identity theft is the reason why pharmacies, hospitals, medical centers, and other organizations gather a patient’s information is to safeguard them from identity theft, and to protect the privacy of their patients. This is why administrative staff, technical staff and physical safeguards are in place to protect individual patient medical information. Employees are trained on how healthcare information is handled, and disposed of, and how to keep the patients information safe and secured. Physicians Billing Associates International, 2006). If a patient’s information was violated, then there are laws that allow patients to get a free copy of their healthcare records from each healthcare physician, and a copy of their healthcare plan each year. The information provided would include date of admission, the name of the person that collected the information, brief synopses of the information given, and a briefing of the statements given, and what purpose does this statement serve.
It would be against the law if a patient was refused a copy of their medical record, and they would assume the right to file a complaint if they felt their rights were violated. If there was a violation committed then every patient has the right to file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services. (Physicians Billing Associates International, 2006). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claims that if someone uses someone else’s name or insurance information to assume medical treatment, and receive drugs or a surgical procedure they have stolen that person’s identity, and should be penalized for breaking the law.
If a person should find inaccurate information they should have them corrected immediately by contacting the (FTC) to find out the right information. (Bureau of Consumer Protection, 2012). New concerns were issued about Rite Aid and their agreement to settle for a million dollars in the HIPAA privacy case and what corrective protection plan should be implemented to safeguard consumer information. An investigation was on going to show where the pharmacy got rid of labels, prescription bottles, that had labels of patients demographics the was disposed of in regular containers that held trash for the public to access.
Rite Aid pharmacies all over the United States had the same issues in which they disposed personal information in public trash containers for the public to access. This issue would be a misconduct of the HIPAA rules that would expose personal medical information which is a risk of identity theft and other crimes (U. S. Department of Health and Human services, 2012). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act require all healthcare providers, and health plans to reassure the privacy of patient information is safe including the proper disposal of the information.
It is crucial that managers follow the rules to safeguard consumer’s rights and their privacy when it comes to health information. However Healthcare organizations should enforce the HIPAA laws and Rite aid failed to comply with the HIPAA laws, which brought on the law suit to begin with. They did not train their employees appropriately on how to safeguard their consumer’s medical information, and to dispose of their patient’s information, and they did not maintain sanctions with their policies on how to properly dispose of the information. (U. S. Department of Health & Human Services 2012). A resolution agreement was implemented by Rite Aid to pay one million dollars, and to implement stronger correctional actions that will include distributing, and revising the policies and their procedures as to the effects of disposing and protection of healthcare medical information, and the employees that do not follow the rules should be sanctioned, and employees should be trained, and conduct an internal monitoring program, that will engage in qualified third-party assessors to implement compliance reviews and execute reports to the HHS.
One of the key compartments of a facility is to comply with policies, and they must train their staff the importance of privacy, without these trainings all policies are known as knoll and void. (U. S. Department of Health & Human Services 2012).
Bureau of Consumer Protection, (2012). Medical Identity Theft: FAQs for Health Care Providers and Health Plans [PDF]. Retrieved from http://business. ftc. gov/documents/bus75-medical-identity-theft-faq-health-care-health-plan Federal Trade Commission Privacy Impact Assessment. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. ftc. gov/os/2012/03/1103bcplitigationsupportsystem. pdf Physicians Billing Associates International, Inc. , (2006). Medical Billing Services. Retrieved from http://www. pbatoday. com/ U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, (2012). Rite Aid Agrees to Pay $1 Million to Settle HIPAA Privacy Case. Retrieved from http://www. hhs. gov/news/press/2010pres/07/20100727a. html