Protecting Your Confidential Information
At Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness, your privacy and confidentiality are taken very seriously. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) safeguards your private information and protects you and your family as clients of our outpatient clinic.
What is HIPAA?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was designed to improve the portability and continuity of health care coverage in the group and individual insurance markets and to improve protections against fraud and abuse within the industry.
HIPAA sets the industry standards for the:
- Privacy of protected individual health information
- Electronic transmissions of health information
- Security of this information
As a result of HIPAA, institutions have implemented changes in how healthcare information is handled, transferred, and stored. HIPAA requires institutions to review and modify systems, policies, procedures, and behavior.
What does HIPAA mean for you?
For clients, HIPAA provides more information with which to make informed choices when seeking health care, and a better understanding of how personal health information may be used.
HIPAA gives you the right to:
- Examine and request copies of your own health records
- Request corrections
- Find out if and how your personal health information has been used for purposes other than treatment
Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness compliance with HIPAA is NOT optional. Penalties for failing to comply with regulatory requirements or for the wrongful disclosure of protected health information can be severe, with fines and prison sentences resulting from the most serious violations.
Compliance with HIPAA guidelines also provides healthcare institutions with improved administrative efficiencies, reduced paperwork by promotion of electronic standards, reduced costs and more assurance that healthcare information remains available, confidential, and safeguarded.
What are we doing about HIPAA?
All staff are trained in HIPAA guidelines. Our Quality Improvement Coordinator works closely with the treatment team to see that all aspects of HIPAA guidelines are carried out. Our Compliance Officer ensures systems, infrastructure, and trainings are in place across the organizations to ensure we are meeting HIPAA guidelines. We take a team approach in reviewing our policies, procedures, and systems regularly to make sure we are up to date in meeting HIPAA guidelines.
Where can you learn more about HIPAA?
For more information about HIPAA and its impact on you and your personal health information, please check out the following websites: