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HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and is a U.S. federal law enacted in 1996 as an attempt at incremental healthcare reform. It was subsequently revised in 2009 with the ARRA/HITECH Act and again in 2013 with the Omnibus Rule.

HIPAA’s intent was to reform the healthcare industry by reducing costs, simplifying administrative processes and burdens, and improving the privacy and security of patients’ health information. Today HIPAA compliance mainly revolves around the last item: protecting the privacy and security of patients’ health information.

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