HIPAA: An Old Law Now as Important as Ever
In the mid-1990s, managing documentation was a primary challenge in the healthcare industry. It was clear to industry experts and regulators that the future of healthcare documen-tation and communication would be digital. Within this context, the U.S. Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. The original legislation's goal was to "modernize the flow of health information" by "creat[ing] a set of uniform electronic healthcare transaction codes"1. Even in HIPAA's nascent stages, patient privacy and the security of patient data were primary concerns of those crafting the legislation, yet how to mandate and regulate the privacy and security of healthcare data was controversial1. It would take the U.S. Congress another four years to pass the Privacy Rule and another seven years to pass the Security Rule. Significant updates to the legislation, including stricter enforcement provisions and the Data Breach Notification provision, were passed in 2009.