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What Does HIPAA Stand For?

This is part of Cake's collection of Advance care planning articles. Create a Cake profile for free to discover, document, and share your end-of-life wishes.

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HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Passed in 1996, the Act has four primary objectives:

  1. Allows individuals and families to transfer and continue health insurance when they lose or change jobs
  2. Reduces health care fraud and abuse
  3. Established and enforces industry-wide standards and regulations for healthcare information and electronic billing
  4. Requires security and protection of personal health information 

When people talk about HIPAA compliance, they are most likely referring to an entity's responsibility to protect patients' sensitive health information.  

You can grant individuals or organizations access to your medical information by completing a HIPAA Release Form.

What type of health information is protected?

Protected health information (PHI) includes most individually identifiable health information. Any individually identifying information held by an entity covered in the Act is included, regardless of whether it is electronic, paper, or oral.

This includes any information about an individual’s past, present, or future health condition in addition to the actual administration of healthcare to the individual. The Act also covers any information for which there is a reasonable basis to believe the identity of the individual could be revealed. This includes common identifiers, such as name, address, birth date, and social security number.

HIPAA does not protect information that needs to be disclosed to local or federal authorities, such as medical records related to a crime or if you are exposed to a highly contagious illness.

Is Cake HIPAA compliant?

Yes, Cake is fully HIPAA compliant. We take the responsibility of protecting your health information very seriously. You can read more about how we protect your information in our privacy policy .

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