The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was passed into law in 1996. Although it’s purpose for existence was to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation’s health care system, it also recognized that the new age of electronic information was going to have an impact on the privacy of personal health information. Thus in 2002, the US Department of Health and Human Services published the Privacy Rule in December 2000 and a modification to the Rule in August 2002. These rules delineate the responsibilities of “covered entities” which are defined to be “health plans, health care clearinghouses and health care providers who conduct the standard health care transactions electronically.” Although Visit.care Inc., is neither a medical business nor a covered entity as defined by HIPAA, we do have an understanding and respect for the law’s intention to protect individuals’ private health information.
Visit.care Inc. is a business service that draws blood specimens according to the orders of a physician or clinical investigator, and then protects the chain of custody of these specimens by either delivering them to the appropriate lab or placing them in a tracked delivery system (e.g. FedEx) such that they are then delivered to the appropriate lab. In the course of this work, Visit.care Inc. and our employees may be privy to information inclusive of individuals' identities and what tests have been ordered on their behalf.