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International HIPAA considerations by physicians in Mexico

Posted by Dr. Santiago Hernandez, January 13, 2016

ID-100390821Traveling for business or pleasure has become very easy, important and comfortable these days. And there is one other major factor which drives many to travel from their homeland to different countries, and that reason is for medical treatment.

Proper and affordable medical treatment is the need of many, and people look for healthcare services in different countries, to ensure that they get the best medical advice and advanced quality medical treatment in time and on budget. While traveling for medical treatments is fast becoming a norm, there have always been concerns about the protection of patient information during travels to other countries. The medical reports and notes containing confidential patient information and details need to be protected to safeguard the privacy of the concerned patient at all times.

Over the course of decades, there has been an urgent need to ensure that none of the patient’s medical details and any other personal information; is leaked to an unconcerned third party to be used later on. Authorities have therefore sat down to formulate special conditions and policies aimed to safeguard patient information all over the world, whenever it changes hands from one medical expert team in a country to the other.

In this regard, HIPAA considerations ensure that patient records get all the privacy and safety they require during international medical travel. With Mexico fast becoming the choice destination of many for medical travel, most medical professionals and physicians in Mexico ensure strict compliance with HIPAA rules for the complete satisfaction of their different patients.

What Are HIPAA Considerations?

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which was passed in 1996. It is a federal law, which has set a definite medical standard that helps protect and safeguard all patient medical records, and all other personal health details.

The law defines that all health information that needs to be protected should;

·       Serve to effectively identify an individual patient

·       Be a medical record that is maintained and exchanged in hard copy or electronically

The considerations are based on the fact, that if the patient records have any components which can be used to identify the individual, then all those details need to be protected properly. The documents are protected for as long as the information is with any particular entity or business associate. All the HIPAA assigned protections are applicable to all patient records available in any electronic or non electronic form. The law even safeguards against the paper progeny of all electronic information, and any sharing of personal patient details is also restricted.

HIPAA Considerations and Physicians in Mexico

While HIPAA signifies compliance on an international level, Mexico has emerged as the choice destination of many for required medical treatment at an affordable expense compared to other countries of the world. That is why, with many patients traveling to Mexico for advanced and affordable medical treatment, physicians in the country are following HIPAA considerations to the letter.

Between the years, 2010 to 2011, Mexico moved a legislation which asked for the regulation of easy access and approach to all personal data, practiced by private organizations and companies. This act prompted the formulation of the Federal Law for Protection of Personal Data in Possession of Individuals. This way, a proper balance was set between the self regulatory scheme and the federal regulations, within the industry. Another Mexican norm was also passed which help set proper technological standards for the development of different products which deal with electronic transfer of all the medical records.

Before the year 2010, the procedure for obtaining personal data in the healthcare sector was not effectively regulated, yet the exception was the management of all personal data that was included as patient data within the clinical records. This way, with the implementation and adherence to the international HIPAA considerations, the patients can exercise their legal rights to access, rectify, cancel and oppose any act or use of information which might seem like an invasion of their privacy to them.

There are many corporate hospitals these days, which have their main offices in the U.S., and have their own systems for managing medical records. And the same setups are used in the Mexico offices as well. One of the most important things that both hospital authorities take into consideration is that the systems need to be, most importantly, HIPAA compliant, and also conform to NOM 168 standards. Both of these have more or less the same objectives, to safeguard all private and confidential information for use in the healthcare industry.

Physicians in Mexico ensure complete protection and security of all patient information and details, to ensure their patients’ complete peace of mind and information security at all times. For all those who seek an affordable healthcare option with great quality care near their home, Mexico is a great choice.

Image courtesy of everydayplus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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