A large part of empowering yourself and understanding your health is becoming familiar with popular industry-standard terms. Two of them that you’ve most likely heard from various sources are “HIPAA-compliant” and the “Cures Act”. While the two terms are associated with medical information, they are extremely different. Therefore it’s important to understand the differences in how they can help protect your privacy.
First, let’s examine what it means for medical providers to be HIPAA-compliant. This regulation was enacted to create a standard of privacy for patients and their medical records. HIPAA protects patients from having their private health information disclosed without their permission. Patients are in control and have the choice of who they would like to share their medical records with under HIPAA. That’s why it’s important when you are researching medical practices, medical applications, or websites, that you confirm whether they are HIPAA-compliant or not. This will help ensure that any third parties that you are using not only abide by regulations but also help to take good care of protecting your privacy as a patient.
On the other hand, the Cures Act establishes your right as a patient to obtain your medical records at any time from your provider. It puts the patients first by helping get rid of the barriers between you as a patient, and your health history. Making it easier to access and share your records when you can best use them and when you need them the most. So, while your medical provider must still retain your records with the utmost security and be HIPAA-compliant, the Cures Act gives you the right as a patient to have the ability to access your medical records whenever you choose to do so.
Being able to distinguish between both of these terms at the appropriate time can make a difference in your medical experience when it comes to protecting your medical privacy. Not only for you but for any family members that you may also be a caretaker for. It can help assist you in choosing the best doctor, healthcare plan, practice, or even medical app for yourself or your loved ones.
Your healthcare records belong to you, the patient, and while the Cures Act makes it easier to access your medical records, it’s also important to be able to understand them to learn more about your health. DrOwl’s HIPAA-compliant solution helps you access your healthcare records for free. We make it easy for you to combine and aggregate your medical records from different providers into one securely accessible place that is shareable with providers and family members as needed. Not only helping to empower people to better understand their health, but to also let family members be a part of your medical journey.