HIPAA is the United States Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which established regulations requiring extensive changes to how health providers conduct their businesses. The act includes two sections:
- HIPAA Title I deals with protecting health insurance coverage for people who lose or change jobs.
- HIPAA Title II includes an administrative simplification section that addresses the standardization of healthcare-related information systems for greater security and confidentiality of electronic data.
HIPAA mandates standardized formats for all patient health, administrative and financial data; unique identifiers (ID numbers) for each healthcare entity, including individuals, employers, health plans and healthcare providers; and security mechanisms to ensure confidentiality and data integrity for any information that identifies an individual.