HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Passed in 1996, HIPAA was designed to modernize the US health insurance industry by promoting the use of information technology in healthcare. HIPAA was augmented in 2009 by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act that further promoted the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology.
US lawmakers recognized that concerns about privacy and security would be significant barriers to the adoption of technology in the health sector. In response, they enacted Privacy and Security Rules as part of HIPAA’s Administrative Simplification Regulations. Under HITECH, the Privacy and Security Rules were strengthened and two new rules, Breach Notification and Enforcement were added.