HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) of 1996 is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. The law has emerged into greater prominence in recent years with the proliferation of health data breaches caused by cyberattacks and ransomware attacks on health insurers and providers.
HIPAA was enacted by the United States Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. It was created primarily to modernize the flow of healthcare information, stipulate how Personally Identifiable Information maintained by the healthcare and healthcare insurance industries should be protected from fraud and theft, and address limitations on healthcare insurance coverage. It has been known as the Kennedy–Kassebaum Act or Kassebaum–Kennedy Act after two of its leading sponsors. The Act consists of five Titles. Title I of HIPAA protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs. Title II of HIPAA, known as the Administrative Simplification (AS) provisions, requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers. Title III sets guidelines for pre-tax medical spending accounts, Title IV sets guidelines for group health plans, and Title V governs company-owned life insurance policies.« Back to Glossary Index