What is HIPAA
The federal government passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996 to protect the privacy and security of people's health information. HIPAA applies to all entities that handle personal health information, including healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses. The law sets national standards for protecting sensitive health information. For example, health information can't be shared without the patient's permission, and electronic health records have to be kept safe. HIPAA also provides individuals with certain rights, such as the right to access and receive a copy of their health information. Failure to comply with HIPAA regulations can result in hefty fines and legal penalties.