- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires individuals to have health insurance and provides subsidies for those who qualify.
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets standards for protecting patient data, such as personal information, medical records, and financial information.
- The Equal Access to Care Act (EAC) eliminates discriminatory practices against patients with disabilities and requires reasonable accommodations.
- The Elder Abuse Prevention and Protection Act protects elderly individuals from abuse or neglect in medical care settings.
- The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) ensures that addiction treatment is given to those who need it.
Healthcare laws are constantly changing, so it can be challenging to keep up with all the latest updates. However, whether you’re an individual navigating the healthcare system or in the healthcare industry, you need to know about specific laws that affect how healthcare is provided and received.
Five Essential Healthcare Laws
There are many healthcare laws in the U.S., each having its own advantages. Here are a few of the most important ones you should know about.
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The most significant law affecting the healthcare industry is the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This law requires virtually everyone in America to have health insurance or face a penalty.
It also provides subsidies for those who qualify and expands Medicaid coverage. Additionally, ACA protects individuals from being denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions and allows children to stay on their parent’s plan until age 26.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 1996 to protect patient privacy and ensure secure electronic communication between providers and other stakeholders involved in providing quality healthcare services.
HIPAA sets standards for protecting patient data, including personal information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, medical records, etc., and financial information such as credit card numbers or bank account details. It applies to any individual or organization that handles protected health information (PHI).
Equal Access To Care Act (EAC)
The Equal Access To Care Act (EAC) was passed in 2010 to eliminate discriminatory practices against patients with disabilities. Under this act, healthcare providers must make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities when providing services—such as allowing access to wheelchairs or providing interpreters for those who cannot hear or speak—and must consider patients’ rights when making decisions about their care.
The EAC also requires healthcare providers to provide equal access for those with limited English proficiency by offering translation services or other reasonable accommodations when needed.
Protection From Abuse and Neglect
Some laws cover the safety and protection of patients. The Elder Abuse Prevention and Protection Act is one such law that protects elderly individuals from abuse or neglect in medical care settings. At the same time, the Patient Safety Quality Improvement Act sets standards for improving patient outcomes through hospital accreditation programs.
If you suspect your grandparents are experiencing abuse or neglect from a nursing home, keep this law in mind. Some experienced nursing home lawyers can help you protect your grandparents from misuse. They’re a great option to build a case against a specific nursing home.
The Mental Health Parity Act
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) is a law that ensures that addiction services are adequately provided, as other health services. This means that insurance companies are not allowed higher copayments or deductibles for mental health services and must offer the same coverage for addiction disorders as for physical illnesses.
It’s important to know that these laws vary from state to state. Even though the ACA is a federal law, individual states have enacted healthcare laws related to it, such as Medicaid expansion or setting up their insurance exchanges.
So if you’re in a different state than where the law was passed, it’s essential to research your particular state’s healthcare laws.
The Advantage of Knowing These Laws
Knowing the healthcare laws is essential for any individual or organization in the industry. It helps ensure that proper care is given to each patient and everyone can access quality healthcare services without discrimination. In addition, understanding these laws allows you to protect yourself and your loved ones while navigating the healthcare system.
By familiarizing yourself with different healthcare laws, you can ensure that you take advantage of all the protections available. It also helps keep healthcare providers accountable and compliant with these laws, benefiting everyone in the industry. Understanding these laws can create a more equitable and healthy society for all.