HIPAA is the United States Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. It seeks to establish standardized mechanisms for electronic data interchange (EDI), security, and confidentiality of all healthcare-related data. The Act mandates: standardized formats for all patient health, administrative, and financial data; unique identifiers (ID numbers) for each healthcare entity, including individuals, employers, health plans and health care providers; and security mechanisms to ensure confidentiality and data integrity for any information that identifies an individual.
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