The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act (HIPAA) will go into effect on Monday, April 14, providing employees
with certain protections related to health care benefits. This privacy
regulation protects medical records and other personal health information
maintained by certain health care providers, health insurers, hospitals
and health plans, such as Emory’s employee health care plan.
Under HIPAA, employers are required to provide certain safeguards
and implement specific procedures to protect the privacy of employee
health information. In order to meet HIPAA requirements, effective
April 14, Human Resources will require a signed Authorization of
Release before assisting employees with any health care benefit
issues that may involve protected health information. HIPAA also
will require changes in Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) procedures.
“Confidentiality of employee records is taken seriously within
Human Resources, and we view HIPAA privacy regulations with the
same priority,” said HR Vice President Alice Miller. “We
hope employees will realize, however, that obtaining the necessary
release of records may affect the timeliness of our response to
employee issues. To alleviate any time delays, we encourage employees
to resolve health care benefit issues by working directly with Aetna,
CIGNA, Caremark and United Behavioral Health.”
Please visit http://emory.hr.emory.edu/benefits.nsf
to view this document. Additional information is available at http://aspe.hhs.gov/admnsimp/index.shtml
or by calling the benefits office at 404-727-7613.