HIPAA Compliance and Bio-metrics

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly referred to as HIPAA, was signed into federal legislation by President Bill Clinton in 1996 with the sole purpose of establishing privacy and security provisions to safeguard medical information. The law dictates that individual or entity that handles protected health information must comply with the several titles outlined in the document. With the rapid evolution of technology in the health care industry and the worldwide change from paper to digital records, personal information safeguards must be altered and executed to the highest of standards. One possibility that many technology companies have been researching is bio-metrics. The term bio-metrics refers to the ability of a machine to accurately identify an individual based upon measurable physical characteristics such as the eyes and the inner ear. By accurately identifying patients, health facilities and insurance companies are able to update and prevent duplicate records. It also allows for safeguarded information as it is nearly impossible to claim another person’s identity. In addition, bio-metric systems could also be utilized to replace the commonly utilized key cards that can be “swipped” or stolen rather easily.


Paige Glickman