The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, a federal act, included a number of provisions for simplifying the administration of health care. In an effort to maintain protection for the privacy of health care information, Congress incorporated into HIPAA the requirement to protect health care information. The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information was passed in 2001 and became effective on April 14, 2003, for large organizations and in April 2004 for small organizations. These standards are commonly referred to as the Privacy Act. The Privacy Act is quite relevant to substance abuse treatment providers as it institutes a number of protections for individuals receiving health care services (regardless of what kind of health care) if the provider of the ...

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