SpeechPathology.com Phone: 800-242-5183

eLuma Online Therapy - Own Boss - May 2023

Are You Prepared for HIPAA Compliance?

Are You Prepared for HIPAA Compliance?
Paul Popp, PhD, BC-HIS, MCAP, Beth Lane, ACA, CHP
February 24, 2003



Even though we would like to think it is not the case, there may still be some speech-language pathologists who are unfamiliar with, or unaware of, Public Law 104-191 - the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA. This law is an expansion of the original Kennedy-Kassebaum legislation that was enacted to improve the portability and continuity of health insurance coverage for working Americans.

In its current form HIPAA has two main provisions: (1) that individuals are able to have continuing access to health insurance (portability) and (2) that standardized methods and procedures must be implemented by all health care providers and entities to insure the privacy and security of a patient's personal health information (accountability). It is this latter portion of the law that can have a significant impact on the business practices of all health care providers (e.g., speech-language pathologists, physicians, dentists, hearing healthcare practitioners, etc.) and health care entities (e.g., health plans, hospitals, billing services, insurance companies, etc.).

Do speech-language pathologists need to be compliant? 

The unequivocal answer to this question is YES! Although there may be some speech-language pathologists who are under the impression that they are exempt from HIPAA because they do not conduct certain electronic health information transactions, the fact is -- they must still be compliant with HIPAA's privacy and security regulations (Title II of the Act). HIPAA's privacy rules provide individuals receiving treatment for speech disorders with safeguards to ensure their personal health information is adequately protected, and appropriately used to provide quality patient care. HIPAA's security regulations address the practitioner's specific efforts to protect the integrity of the personal health information acquired, and provide methods and procedures to prevent unauthorized breaches of privacy.

The need to comply with HIPAA comes at a time when personal identity theft ranks as the most common form of consumer fraud. Speech-language pathologists must be particularly sensitive to protecting the confidentiality of patient information, as each practitioner collects a significant amount of individually identifiable health information on each of their patients. Prior to the passage of HIPAA, there were no federal standards to ensure the confidentiality of patient health information. And, although each state may have some regulations concerning the privacy of personal records, few are comprehensive in scope and many provide little or no legal protection for the unauthorized use of health information. In some states, the laws protecting video rental lists are far more rigorous than those dealing with patient information. Compounding this situation is the fact that many state privacy laws were written years, if not decades ago, and have fallen ''behind the times,'' making it unclear as to who in the contemporary health care system has the responsibility for maintaining the confidentiality of health information.


Paul Popp, PhD, BC-HIS, MCAP

Beth Lane, ACA, CHP

Related Courses

The Art of Debriefing: Key Elements in CSD Simulation Education
Presented by Carol Szymanski, PhD, CCC-SLP, CHSE
Course: #8704Level: Intermediate1.5 Hours
This course defines and describes the types of simulations utilized for clinical education in communication sciences and disorders (CSD). The learning theory behind simulation education will be presented, with the process and examples of debriefing specifically highlighted.
Please note: This course uses a different recorded format from most of our courses; arrows on the playbar must be used to progress through the course. When playback stops after the course introduction, use the right arrow key to progress to the second slide, where you can read the full playback instructions. Due to the nature of the development of this content, this course is best viewed on a tablet-sized screen or larger. Please plan your viewing experience accordingly.

Treatment Approach Considerations for School-Aged Children with Speech Sound Disorders
Presented by Kathryn Cabbage, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #9472Level: Intermediate1 Hour
This course will address the theoretical underpinnings and research base related to differential diagnosis and treatment of articulation and phonological deficits in children with speech sound disorders. Special considerations for how to tailor evaluation and intervention to meet the needs of school-age children will be discussed.

The Ripple Effect of Stuttering: A Community-Based Approach
Presented by Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, ASHA Fellow, Mary Weidner, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #9217Level: Intermediate2 Hours
This is Part 2 of a four-part series. The stuttering experience has a ripple effect that extends far beyond the child who stutters. Parents, teachers, peers, and others must possess both knowledge and skills to best support children who stutter. This course will highlight new clinical tools and resources to provide a community-based treatment approach for stuttering. (Part 1 - Course 9278, Part 3 - Course 9301, Part 4 - Course 9304)

Behavioral Frameworks for Dementia Management
Presented by Mary Beth Mason, PhD, CCC-SLP, Robert W. Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP
Course: #9473Level: Intermediate1 Hour
This course will focus on cognitive-communication intervention strategies for various dementia presentations and will provide a review of evidence-based treatment. Behavioral frameworks along with their rationales will be introduced and applied across several dementia types and mild, moderate and severe levels of impairment.

20Q: Infection Control Strategies for SLPs
Presented by A.U. Bankaitis Smith, PhD
Course: #9729Level: Intermediate1 Hour
Speech-language pathologists are expected by policy authorities to apply appropriate measures to protect patients, co-workers and themselves in clinical situations that may expose individuals to infectious microbes. This article provides practical guidelines for implementing infection control principles within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, including discussion of personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfecting and cleaning products.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.