In August 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Administrative Simplification provisions of HIPAA define national standards for electronic data interchange and set national standards regarding security and privacy of a person's health information. These standards supersede state and local rules, unless states have more stringent security and privacy standards in place. The bill gives the government the authority to impose penalties for non-compliance.
All health insurers and payers must comply with the final rules within 24 months of their publication. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) plans to issue HIPAA regulations on an ongoing basis. A time lag of 60 days between publication of the Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) and publication of the final rules is necessary for the large number of comments anticipated on the NPRMs. All of the standards, whether they are final rules in the Federal Register or proposed rules, can be accessed via the DHHS Administrative Simplification web site.
BCBSND's compliance statement and current status in fulfilling HIPAA standards.