Where there is no law, there is no sin. That is why the federal, state and local authorities have come up with different medical ethics and laws. The reason is simple- to protect the right of the patient, to ensure they have access to adequate medical care and also to see to it that the medical professionals are well-compensated. In the absence of law, different malpractices and unethical behavior will prevail. Life will be lost and culprits will go unpunished. To avoid this, laws are designed to avoid harm and protect the rights of everyone. Hence, whether you are a doctor or patients, you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand the laws guiding medical practices. Lisa Manziel, leader and founder of Manziel Law Offices, an organization helping many to navigate the ever-evolving healthcare laws and regulations bring to you important healthcare laws everyone must know.
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was initially enacted to protect workers who lost their jobs. The health insurance policies can be carried from job to job and can also replace lost coverage at any selected group of health insurance plans. The act now serves as a standard protecting patients’ sensitive information from being disclosed without the patient’s knowledge. This is not only applicable to doctors. Whether you are a dentist, chiropractor, dietitian, pharmacists or psychologist, the law outlines how you can use, store and disseminate protected health information.
The HITECH Act
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, simply called HITECH Act, was brought about to encourage healthcare providers to embrace the use of health information technology. There are standards for protections of privacy and security for healthcare data. This act can also be considered as an extension of HIPAA acts. It strengthens the enforcement of HIPAA as its ensures healthcare providers are in compliance with its privacy and security rules.
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was put in place to prohibit genetic descrimination. Health insurance and employers are not allowed to discriminate against individuals on the basis of genetic information. For instance, employers cannot use genetic information to determine employment decision, salaries and incentives, promotions and firings. Health insurance as well cannot use that to determine insurance eligibility, coverage, premium setting and many more.
The medicare program is designed to provide coverage for US senior citizens. The aim is to assist the elderly to meet medical and other health costs. Anyone above age 65 years are eligible to this.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 was created to repeal the sustainable growth rate. It is a law that changes how the federal government pays phusicans who treats Medicare patients. It mandates HHS to implement value-based initiatives in order to ensure quality care are given to the beneficiaries.
These are just some of the many important medical laws and regulations. For more information on health and businsess laws, Manziel Law Offices is here to help!