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What is HIPAA?

Christina Hernandez Sherwood, eMed Editor, MedCity News

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a two-fold law. Broadly, HIPAA both regulates health insurance policies and provides guidelines for maintaining the privacy and security of health information.

Only a specific subset of personal information that relates to a person’s health is subject to HIPAA when it’s handled by what’s known as a covered entity or business associate. Healthcare companies are restricted from using this information for purposes other than treatment, payment, or healthcare operations without written authorization. They must also implement privacy safeguards.

Healthcare entrepreneurs are encouraged to read the HIPAA law in full to better understand how it impacts their startup.

Related: Is your digital health startup subject to HIPAA?

Photo by kev-shine

FAQs are a weekly feature on eMed for current and aspiring healthcare entrepreneurs.

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