During and after CNA training, there will be one word you hear over and over again, no matter what CNA training facility you study in or where you intend on working: HIPPA. HIPPA is an acronym for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. These laws and health care regulations were put into effect by Congress in 1996 to increase the standards of proper health care across the country.
There are three specific factors within HIPPA that apply to CNAs. As a CNA training student, you will learn what these factors are. You must have a complete understanding of them in order to pass the certification test and become a certified nursing assistant at the end of the program.
HIPPA and CNA Training
During CNA training, you will learn about a section in HIPPA regarding abuse and health care fraud. This section is the most pertinent to CNAs. It discusses various offenses that may be committed by those in the health care field and the punishments set up for those offenses in either civil or criminal court. Under this section, there are five rules that must be followed.
- Privacy Rule- The first, and perhaps most commonly talked about, rule within HIPPA is the privacy rule. This rule prevents those who have completed CNA training and any other medical staff from sharing a patient’s private health information, or PHI, with anyone without express need or consent from the patient themselves.
The HIPPA privacy rule is the reason you must speak to patients privately about their medical problems, close the curtain when you are assisting them in and out of bed or providing care, and why you may not have access to certain medical information. These privacy efforts keep the PHI safe from those who are not a part of the health care team and those who do not have permission to obtain information about the patient’s health.
- Security Rule- After CNA training, when you begin working as a certified nursing assistant, you will need to keep track of your patients through the use of medical records. The HIPPA security rule was established to protect any and all electronic patient records that are created, used, received, or maintained in the health care system.
Only specific personnel will be able to use these records and there will be safeguards established both physically and technically to protect them. For instance, a portable computer with medical records will often have security standards such as passwords and screen savers. After CNA training, you may only have access to a small portion of a patient’s medical records, since these are only shared on a “need to know” basis due to the privacy rule.
- Enforcement Rule- The HIPPA enforcement rule describes what will occur if there are any violations of HIPPA, including compliance, investigations, and penalties.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is an important law that you must learn and understand during CNA training. This act helps to protect your patient’s privacy and is required by law to be followed by all those who work in the health care field.
As a CNA Training graduate be sure you are fully aware and compliant with HIPPA.