Understanding who all is Covered Under HIPAA:
First, let us try to understand who all are covered by this policy. The employees in the workplace are considered as covered entities under HIPAA. The main objective of HIPAA in the workplace is to protect the sensitive health information of the employees. It aims at protecting the health information of the employees from those people who are legally not entitled to know the details about the health information about the employees. Entities like health care providers directly fall under HIPAA. Entities like schools etc do not directly come under this rule but here to the health information of the employees is protected.
An insight into Employee Rights:
The HIPAA privacy certification gives the patients the right to access their information. They can even get the copies of this information. They can also request for changes in the information if there is any discrepancy in the information provided. They also have the rights to add details to the data if the information is not complete.
If the health information of the employees has to be shared for any reason, then the employee has to be notified for the same. The patient must know all the details about what information is going to get shared and with whom the details are going to be shared. Only if the employee gives permission for the same then the details can be shared. The employee reserves the complete right to decide whether or not the information should be shared.
It should also be noted that the employer cannot get the details regarding the health information of the employee from a health care provider. The employer needs to inform the employee about the same. It must also be noted that the employer cannot directly access the insurance claims and medical records of the employee directly. The employer has to get a written confirmation from the employee only then they can access the information.
The health information of the patient cannot be used for any kind of marketing until and unless the patient gives permission for the same. Even when the protected health information is used by agencies for research purpose the identity of the patient cannot be revealed under any circumstances.
The employees must keep in mind that their health information is protected by the HIPAA privacy policies. The employee has the right to decide who can access the information and who should not be allowed to access the details. The employees must also remember that if they feel that any information which they did not want to be revealed has got leaked or any incorrect information about them has been given, then the employee has the right to complain about the same to the concerned authorities.
HIPAA is designed specifically to make sure that health information of people is guarded. Therefore employers have to make sure that they never access any crucial employee health data or disclose any employee health data without the permission of the employee. The employee reserves the complete right to make a decision in this regards. The employee can decide who can access the details and if there is any breach occurring then the employee can take action against the people who have violated the rules and regulations.