What are the 5 Main Rules of HIPAA?

Cyberattacks and data breaches are relatively common today. Even if businesses’ best efforts to keep up with the changing threat landscape. There is still insufficient security for vital data and assets. Healthcare businesses are increasingly becoming the soft target for hackers in the healthcare sector. It is a gold mine of sensitive PHI data. The HIPAA act safeguards patient health information from illegal access and data theft. Healthcare organisations must agree to HIPAA standards to preserve PHI data and uphold patient rights.

Five main rules of HIPAA

Privacy Rule

Privacy Rule protects individuals’ PHI and medical data by restricting what can and cannot use and disclose without their consent.

The HIPAA Privacy Standard: 

The HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Privacy Standard are the same. Protecting Personal Health Information is the focus of a specific HIPAA Law requirement (PHI). It set federal guidelines for exchanging and storing PHI by covered entities and commercial partners. It creates policies to safeguard patient data use for medical services.

These privacy requirements comprise the following:

  • Right of the patient to access their PHI;
  • access to a patient’s PHI by a health care provider;
  • Freedom of the healthcare professional to refuse patient access to PHI and
  • HIPAA rules and release forms for each organisation must meet minimum requirements.

Security Rule:

This security regulation provides guidelines for storing, accessing, and transmitting electronic PHI. There are three different security protection levels. The Organisational safeguards deal with appointing a HIPAA security compliance team. The Technical safeguards concerning the encryption and authentication techniques used to control data access. Physical safeguards protect electronic systems, data, or equipment inside your facility or organisation. This guideline applies to hardware, software, transmission risk analysis, and risk management processes.

Transactions rule:

Health care data exchange is essential for treatment facilities. It assesses a new patient’s medical history or for insurers to inform them of a particular treatment. However, these data exchanges could also be a source of patient data loss or oversharing.

Due to this, each organisation participating in these transactions must implement specific codes to guarantee confidentiality and security. An organisation may violate HIPAA rules if it offers information that doesn’t match its code.

Identifier rule

To cover entities employing HIPAA financial and administrative transactions, various identities use HIPAA. Health care providers require HIPAA to have a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number to identify administrative transactions.

HIPAA-regulated administrative and financial transactions; HIPAA has three distinct identities. These identifiers are the Standard Unique Employer Identifiers. The 10-digit number covers healthcare providers in every HIPAA administrative and financial transaction.

Enforcement Rule:

The consequences for any infractions by business partners or cover entities handled by the HIPAA security guidelines. Regarding cover entities and business partners, this addresses five key areas:

Application of HIPAA security and privacy regulations;

  • establishing requirements for mandatory reporting of security breaches;
  • standards for accounting disclosures;
  • limitations on sales and marketing; 
  • Restrictions that apply to any agreements with business partners or covered entities.
  • Before they can transfer or disclose any PHI or ePHI, these contracts must be implemented.

This regulation addresses infractions before, on, or after the ARRA HITECH ACT compliance date of February 18, 2015. The HIPAA Privacy and Security Act are expanding, and any infractions now carry harsher consequences.


Businesses adhere to HIPAA’s rules and regulations regarding the security of EHI that they share. The safety and privacy of EPHI stores and transfers can ensure by following these rules and standards. The five HIPAA components serve as the cornerstones of HIPAA compliance. PHI data processing requires an effective system for protecting ePHI data and IT infrastructure security.

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