The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) is not applicable to the practices of NMIN Alliance. HIPAA does apply to: health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those healthcare providers who conduct certain financial and administrative transactions electronically. The purpose of HIPAA is to regulate and protect electronically maintained or transmitted individual health information by these covered entities.
HIPAA extends to other types of organizations that may use protected health information indirectly to the extent that they are “business associates’. A business associate is an entity that receives protected health information from a HIPAA covered entity (i.e. doctor or hospital forwarding a member’s information directly to NMIN Alliance). Even in this scenario, HIPAA compliance still would not apply directly to NMIN Alliance, but rather to the entity sending the information.