The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act: implications for the dental profession.
ABSTRACT HIPAA is generating long-awaited change in the health care world. Administrative, operational, and technical solutions are being created in response to the requirements of HIPAA. The current rules emphasize that the regulations' provisions are scalable and allow all entities, whenever possible, to determine how extensively they will address certain issues. The larger the organization, the more complex the HIPAA strategy must be. Implementation in a small dental practice requires a simple strategy compared to that of a health care plan or clearinghouse. It still takes time and resources for a dental practice to accommodate the numerous HIPAA requirements, however. Although a dentist may find the rules at HHS Web site or other Internet sites, he or she may wish to rely on vendors, consultants, and the guidance of the ADA and other dental organizations to help implement them. The dentist also should keep in mind that HIPAA compliance is an evolutionary process; future modifications are necessary. As a result, some of the information contained in this material may not be accurate by the time this issue in printed. Dentists always should consult sources such as the ADA or HHS Web site to procure current HIPAA information.