What is HIPAA?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) originated from the early Clinton Administration health reform proposals. The primary intent of the law was to improve access to health insurance, increase protections of identifiable health information, and reduce administrative costs in the healthcare system. HIPAA required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue proposed standards to protect the privacy of individually identifiable health information. These standards were finally approved and became effective in April 2002 and April 2003, depending upon certain agency or entity criteria.