The Medicare and Medicaid programs have ensured access to health care and today

The medicare and medicaid programs have ensured

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(“The 1965 Medicare Amendment to the Social Security Act”, 2012). The Medicare and Medicaid programs have ensured access to health care and today “one in three Americans is covered by Medicare or Medicaid” (Leonard, 2015). The programs also increased access to care by removing racial segregation practices of health care organizations which have led to longer life expectancies as well as healthier children and adults (Leonard, 2015). Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 As more people gained access to health care, and technology advances became more prevalent, there was a growing need to standardize the process of storing and transferring patients’ health information (“Guidance”, 2010). There were incongruous state and federal laws that allowed for the distribution of medical records to lenders and or employees without the patients consent (“Why is the HIPPA Privacy Rule Needed?”, 2006). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) was established in 1999 with two purposes. The first focused on insurance portability and was created “to ensure that individuals would be able to maintain their health insurance between jobs” (“Guidance”, 2010, para HIPPA Background). The Second part aimed at accountability, and was devised to protect patients’ health information and create “uniform standards for electronic data transmission of administrative and financial data 3
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relating to patients’ health information” (“Guidance”, 2010, para HIPPA Background). Up until this time, there were over 400 different systems used to process health claims which increased costs and decreased efficiency (“Guidance”, 2010). HIPPA impacted health care today in many ways. Patients privacy and confidentiality has been drastically increased due to HIPPA (Harman, 2005). However, while the strategies to form a standardization of electronic health records were aimed at decreasing health care costs, “compliance initiative to protect privacy became front and center of everyone’s attention, and implementation of these initiatives escalated costs” (Harman, 2005). There has also been increased managerial costs and complications for clinical application of the HIPPA Privacy Rule (Harman, 2005). In addition, there has also been superfluous expenditures in educating health care professionals, developing HIPPA pamphlets and consent forms, and salaries for employees designated to implement HIPPA in health care organizations (Harman, 2005). Nonetheless, HIPPA has impacted healthcare through “the protection of patient privacy, for protections against fraud and abuse, and to protect the ability of citizens to keep health insurance when changing jobs” (Harman, 2005). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Access to health care is a controversial issue throughout the history of health care, and while many individuals view health care as a right, others do not. The ethical principle of distributive justice “refers to the
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  • Fall '14
  • health care reform

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