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Group Insurance Health Care and the HIPAA Privacy Rule

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HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. When I hear people talking about HIPAA, they are usually not talking about the original Act. They are talking about the Privacy Rule that was issued as a result of the HIPAA in the form of a Notice of Health Information Practices.

The United States Department of Health & Human Services official Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule is 25 pages long, and that is just a summary of the key elements. So as you can imagine, it covers a lot of ground. What I would like to offer you here is a summary of the basics of the Privacy Rule.

When it was enacted in 1996, the Privacy Rule established guidelines for the protection of individuals’s health information. The guidelines are written such that they make sure that an individual’s health records are protected while at the same time allowing needed information to be released in the course of providing health care and protecting the public’s health and well being. In other words, not just anyone can see a person’s health records. But, if you want someone such as a health provider to see your records, you can sign a release giving them access to your records.

So just what is your health information and where does it come from? Your health information is held or transmitted by health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers. These are called covered entities in the wording of the rule.

These guidelines also apply to what are called business associates of any health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers. Business associates are those entities that offer legal, actuarial, accounting, consulting, data aggregation, management, administrative, accreditation, or financial services.

So, what does a typical Privacy Notice include?

  • The type of information collected by your health plan.
  • A description of what your health record/information includes.
  • A summary of your health information rights.
  • The responsibilities of the group health plan.

Let’s look at these one at a time:

Information Collected by Your Health Plan:

The group healthcare plan collects the following types of information in order to provide benefits:

Information that you provide to the plan to enroll in the plan, including personal information such as your address, telephone number, date of birth, and Social Security number.

Plan contributions and account balance information.

The fact that you are or have been enrolled in the plans.

Health-related information received from any of your physicians or other healthcare providers.

Information regarding your health status, including diagnosis and claims payment information.

Changes in plan enrollment (e.g., adding a participant or dropping a participant, adding or dropping a benefit.)

Payment of plan benefits.

Claims adjudication.

Case or medical management.

Other information about you that is necessary for us to provide you with health benefits.

Understanding Your Health Record/Information:

Each time you visit a hospital, physician, or other healthcare provider, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment.

This information, often referred to as your health or medical record, serves as a:

Basis for planning your care and treatment.

Means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to your care.

Legal document describing the care you received.

Means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided.

Tool in educating health professionals.

Source of data for medical research.

Source of information for public health officials charged with improving the health of the nation.

Source of data for facility planning and marketing.

Tool with which the plan sponsor can assess and continually work to improve the benefits offered by the group healthcare plan. Understanding what is in your record and how your health information is used helps you to:

Ensure its accuracy.

Better understand who, what, when, where, and why others may access your health information.

Make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.

Your Health Information Rights:

Although your health record is the physical property of the plan, the healthcare practitioner, or the facility that compiled it, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:

Request a restriction on otherwise permitted uses and disclosures of your information for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations purposes and disclosures to family members for care purposes.

Obtain a paper copy of this notice of information practices upon request, even if you agreed to receive the notice electronically.

Inspect and obtain a copy of your health records by making a written request to the plan privacy officer.

Amend your health record by making a written request to the plan privacy officer that includes a reason to support the request.

Obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information made during the previous six years by making a written request to the plan privacy officer.

Request communications of your health information by alternative means or at alternative locations.

Revoke your authorization to use or disclose health information except to the extent that action has already been taken.

Group Health Plan Responsibilities:

The group healthcare plan is required to:

Maintain the privacy of your health information.

Provide you with this notice as to the planâEUR(TM)s legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information that is collected and maintained about you.

Abide by the terms of this notice.

Notify you if the plan is unable to agree to a requested restriction.

Accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate health information by alternative means or at alternative locations. The plan will restrict access to personal information about you only to those individuals who need to know that information to manage the plan and its benefits. The plan will maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with federal regulations to guard your personal information. Under the privacy standards, individuals with access to plan information are required to:

Safeguard and secure the confidential personal financial information and health information as required by law. The plan will only use or disclose your confidential health information without your authorization for purposes of treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. The plan will only disclose your confidential health information to the plan sponsor for plan administration purposes.

Limit the collection, disclosure, and use of participant’s healthcare information to the minimum necessary to administer the plan.

Permit only trained, authorized individuals to have access to confidential information.

Other items that may be addressed include:

Communication with family. Under the plan provisions, the company may disclose to an employee’s family member, guardian, or any other person you identify, health information relevant to that person’s involvement in your obtaining healthcare benefits or payment related to your healthcare benefits.

Notification. The plan may use or disclose information to notify or assist in notifying a family member, personal representative, or another person responsible for your care, your location, general condition, plan benefits, or plan enrollment.

Business associates. There are some services provided to the plan through business associates. Examples include accountants, attorneys, actuaries, medical consultants, and financial consultants, as well as those who provide managed care, quality assurance, claims processing, claims auditing, claims monitoring, rehabilitation, and copy services. When these services are contracted, it may be necessary to disclose your health information to our business associates in order for them to perform the job we have asked them to do. To protect employee’s health information, however, the company will require the business associate to appropriately safeguard this information.

Benefit coordination. The plan may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with plan benefit coordination.

Workers compensation. The plan may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and to the extent necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.

Law enforcement. The plan may disclose health information for law enforcement purposes as required by law or in response to a valid subpoena.

Sale of business. If the plan sponsor’s business is being sold, then medical information may be disclosed. The plan reserves the right to change its practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information it maintains. Should the company’s information practices change, it will mail a revised notice to the address supplied by each employee.

The plan will not use or disclose employee’s health information without their authorization, except as described in this notice.

In Summary:

As an employee, you should be aware of your rights and feel confident that your employer is abiding by the guidelines of the Privacy Rule.

As an employer offering group insurance health care benefits, you should make your employees aware of their rights and should give them an avenue to obtain more information or to report a problem.

When you get your health insurance coverage through a broker that specializes in employee benefits, they should provide you with all of the necessary information and Privacy Notice to make sure you comply with the HIPAA guidelines.

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HEALTH

A Patient Guide To Get Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma

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How To Get Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma

 Even though medical marijuana is legal in many states, there are set laws on how to obtain it legally. Read along to learn how to get medical marijuana in Oklahoma.

On May 18, 2021, the Gov. of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, House Bill 2272 into law. The law changed a few things in the medical marijuana sector in Oklahoma. The changes that took effect were meant to address the following concerns in the medical cannabis sector:

  • How foreigners should operate cannabis businesses in Oklahoma. 
  • How the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) should conduct compliance checks online 
  • Inspections to confirm if the licenses were operating actively or not

Since these changes are meant to remove a couple of bad actors in the Oklahoma medical marijuana sector, it is clear that the Oklahoma medical sector is taking the right path. The law was also put in place to ensure that all competitors get a fair deal regardless of where they came from. 

The Previous Version of the Act 

An earlier version of the law that the House passed in March. Looking carefully at how it was drafted, it was pretty different from the final version. The artificial caps in the law were more stringent as an oversight, and the number of business licenses was limited. The final version was meant to scrutinize the licenses issued by OMMA and how they were all maintained. Limits are now put in place to control the oversaturated market. That said, let’s look at what a patient needs to do to obtain medical marijuana in Oklahoma. 

How to Get Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma 

The procedure of acquiring medical marijuana in Oklahoma is almost the same in other states in America that have legalized medical marijuana. 

  • Get recommended by a licensed practicing doctor

The first thing you need to do as a patient seeking to get medical marijuana is looking for a physician in the state of Oklahoma who advocates for medical marijuana. The doctors need to confirm that you are suffering from any of the qualifying medical conditions. To do this, you need to present your medical history and other medical information that the doctor may need to recommend to you. 

Once the doctor has confirmed that you are suffering from any qualifying medical conditions, they will have to present the document himself in the Department of Health together with the patient’s filled out forms. The patient is not allowed to present the recommendation to the DOH. 

  • Application of the Medical Marijuana Card 

The second step in obtaining a medical marijuana card is sending an application to the State Department of Health. Once they have received your application, they will have to review it for a couple of days. After a few days, you will get feedback on whether they accepted or denied your application. If the application is accepted, you will be issued a medical marijuana card. 

Learning how to get medical marijuana in Oklahoma offers you a legal way to acquire cannabis. You can do this by providing copies of a state-issued identification card. You also need to present several documents that prove that you are a resident of Oklahoma. Once you are approved and have gotten the medical marijuana card, you can start going to medical marijuana dispensaries to purchase medical cannabis. 

Conclusion 

Getting a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma is as easy as that, and you don’t need to struggle so much. Remember that medical marijuana is legal in many states; you need to follow due process. You don’t need to suffer in silence while you can get medical cannabis to relieve the pain that comes with these dilapidating medical conditions. 

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HEALTH

What is the Best Air Purifier for Cough Symptoms?

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Best Air Purifier
Best Air Purifiers

The rapid industrial growth brought many conveniences to our urban lives. But, along with those comforts, it also brought morbid health issues. The primary and most persistent problem in our modern lives is the problem of air pollution. Air contaminants and allergens are the main reason for our allergy, which causes cough problems in an allergic individual. If you live in an urban environment where you get surrounded by allergens, viruses and other pathogens, the chances are that you may be looking for the best air purifier to get help with your cough. Coughing can severely slow down you and your kids and hinder productivity. We will provide you with some best air purifier models and tips to choose a Daikin air purifier yourself. 

How do Air Purifiers Help with Coughs?

If you are coughing uncontrollably, you must look for the best air purifier because it surely can help you with your cough problem. But the question is how? Air purifiers use a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Absorbing) filter to isolate the contaminants suspended in the air and keep them trapped in the system until you clean and change filters.

What Should You Look for When Buying an Air Purifier?

  • Filters: Filters are the primary organ of any best air purifier. Know which filters are there on your device. Here are some of the generally used filters for you to check:
  1. Pure HEPA filter
  2. Activated Charcoal Filter
  3. UV-C filter
  4. Pre-filter and
  5. Ozone free Ionizer 
  • Warranty period: Most air purifier models come with 1 to 2 years of warranty. Know which parts the company covers in the warranty paper.
  • Easy set-up: Modern air purifier models are mostly touch-controlled and have a simple button layout. Avoid any complications in the set-up, and filter changing process.
  • Room size: Check the rated size for an air purifier to know if it suits your room size.

What is the Number One Air Purifier?

These brands produce one of the top-selling air purifier models available in the Indian market.

  1. Daikin
  2. LG
  3. Eureka Forbes
  4. Panasonic
  5. Phillips
  6. BlueStar

Among them, Daikin is making one of the most affordable air purifiers.

Top Three Best Air Purifier Models are – 

  1. Daikin MC55XVM6 Air Purifier:
  • Streamer Discharge: This Daikin air purifier, besides the HEPA filter, uses the streamer discharge function to quickly remove odours and allergens with high-speed electrons with the oxidizing property.
  • Turbo mode: The Turbo mode in the Daikin air purifier provides a high-power operation to clean the air fast.
  • Deodorising Filter: Some Daikin air purifier models, including the MC55 model, utilize streamers to decompose the foul odours and assist the filter.

 

  1. Eureka Forbes 56-watt AeroGuard mist Air Purifier: 
  • HEPA filter: It uses advanced HEPA technology to remove 99% of suspended particles of 0.3 microns. 
  • UV Lamp: A UV lamp helps reduce volatile organic compounds, parasites and mites in the indoor air.
  • 10X filter technology: It uses the Active 10X filter technology to purify the air in your house and eliminate dust, dander and germs.
  1. Daikin MC40XVM6 Air Purifier:
  • Electrostatic HEPA filter: This Daikin air purifier has a high-performance filter that catches 99.97% of 0.3μm* fine particles.
  • Anti-pollen mode: When you switch between “standard” and “low” modes in this Daikin air purifier, it creates a gentle whirlwind to catch suspended pollen in the air.
  • Deodorising Filter: Odours are caught on this Daikin air purifier using the deodorizing filter. 

Shop from the Bajaj Finserv EMI Store for affordable pricing and enjoy pre-approved offers. Get hold of your Bajaj Finserv EMI Network Card to purchase eureka forbes air purifier on No-cost EMI.

Conclusion:

In times of the global pandemic, your home is the only place where you spend the most time in the day. Although, it is no more a haven for you with a plethora of allergens, pathogens, viruses and other invisible germs floating in the indoor air. The Daikin air purifier uses the streamer discharge method, active plasma Ion and cutting-edge Electrostatic HEPA Filter to protect you against many dangerous disease-causing pathogens and improve the overall air quality. Do not compromise on the health of your family, and buy the best air purifier today. Enjoy a no-cost EMI using the Bajaj Finserv EMI network card for your purchases.

 

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Neurological Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

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In 2017, almost half of the Australian population was prevalent for neurological disorders. This is a worrying piece of information. Neurological disorders can sneak up and they can take a toll on your health without you even noticing it. You may have a headache from time to time and think it’s not a big deal. However, it can be a pretty big deal. Some of these symptoms may seem harmless or irrelevant, but the trust is that they can damage your well-being in many ways. Here are the symptoms that should alert you that it’s time you saw a neurologist. 

Chronic headaches 

We all experience headaches – nothing new about that. However, it’s not the same when you have a headache once in four months and when you have one-two times a week. The latter should be a reason for concern. Especially if the headaches are strong and disruptive, you shouldn’t ignore them. Chronic migraines are also worrisome. 

A good way to determine whether you see a neurologist is by measuring the times you take pain relievers for headaches in a month. If the number goes over five, you should definitely consult a professional. When fever, stiff neck, and light sensitivity accompany a headache, they might point to an underlying issue such as meningitis. 

Frequent dizziness 

While dizziness is usually something benign, it can also become a sign of a serious health problem. If you feel dizzy once in six months due to fatigue, you shouldn’t worry too much – you should get some rest. On the other hand, if you experience bouts of dizziness all of the time, you shouldn’t just wait for the next one to start. 

There are several types of dizziness. For instance, syncope causes light-headedness and makes you feel like you’re going to faint while vertigo makes you feel like you’re spinning or swaying even when you’re standing still. Recognising this as a potential problem could help you treat a neurological disorder on time (if you have one).

Persistent pain 

Another thing that accompanies underlying neurological conditions is persistent pain. If you’ve suffered from constant pain for over six months, you should make an appointment with a neurologist as soon as possible. This is especially important if the pain is followed by sensations such as numbness, weakness, and tingling. You could also experience bladder or bowel control issues. 

All of these could be the symptoms of conditions such as neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases. Luckily, you could get a life-changing brain surgery in Brisbane and improve your health and life significantly. You could even prevent a stroke. Sudden numbness affecting only one side of your body could be a sign of stroke. 

Sleep problems

Sleep is an essential part of the life of any functional being. You simply cannot go on with your life properly if you’re experiencing some serious trouble sleeping well. Insomnia and hypersomnia are just two of the sleep-related diseases you might have in this case. You could have narcolepsy, sleep apnea, or restless leg syndrome. 

All of these can make it difficult for you to remain focused and present at the moment. Furthermore, they could make it difficult for you to stay sane. If you’re unable to get a good night sleep for any reason, you should definitely head to a neurologist. Even if the problem isn’t neurological in nature, solving it will improve your life in many ways. 

Memory loss 

Finally, if you have trouble remembering things, you should check your neurological health. Of course, you could forget to switch off the lights sometimes – that isn’t a cause for concern. However, if you’re unable to focus on what people are telling you if you have trouble processing information, and if you can’t recall important pieces of information, you might have an issue. 

Especially if this becomes a constant in your life, you should seek help. Even if you constantly feel confused, you could be experiencing some symptoms of dementia. If that’s true, you could slow down this disease simply because you’ve noticed it on time. Once the treatment begins, you could improve the quality of your life in numerous ways.

Conclusion 

Some of the things we consider ordinary or normal might be signs of serious health conditions. If you experience any of this often, make sure to check your health with a professional. Most health issues can be treated as long as they are noticed on time!

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