When people think of HIPAA, they think of the privacy provisions of HIPAA. Yet privacy is nowhere in the title – the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, passed in 1997, was touted as a stake through the heart of one of the great evils of the health insurance market place – refusing to insure sick people. The practice is called medical underwriting.
“Portability”, the P in HIPAA, offered the promise that an individual undergoing treatment for a medical condition, would not have their treatment disrupted because of a “pre-existing condition” if they changed jobs and employer sponsored health plans.
HIPAA has the same elements described in my recent post about Michelle’s Law: a good story line and a very narrow focus. The Rube Goldberg fix over the simple, direct fix.
Anyone looking around at health care today might be surprised to learn that Congress even considered the subject. Continue reading