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Definition: HIPAA is an acronym that stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which was enacted in 1996. HIPAA is enforced by the Privacy Rule of the Department of Health and Human Services, which governs the documentation and dissemination of all patients' health care information by medical providers, insurance companies, and third parties such as billing companies and clearing houses.

Anyone who handles patient documentation of any type should be educated on HIPAA compliance. HIPAA is also a major factor in the development of Electronic Medical Records (EMR), as many experts in the medical community fear that if EMR is not implemented properly, patients' health care information is at risk of exposure to the wrong parties.

Common Misspellings: HIPPA

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