Does HIPAA Apply to Employers?

Ruth T. Griggs writes:

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, better known as HIPAA, protects the privacy and security of patient health information. A common question from human resource managers has been what is the impact of HIPAA on an employer’s ability to collect employee health information for purposes of workers compensation, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) purposes?

While it is generally true that HIPAA does not apply to employers simply because they collect employee health information, HIPAA will affect employers in the process of obtaining this information because HIPAA usually applies to the health care entity from which the employer is seeking the information.

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