First few Article Sentences
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was designed to simplify health care administration and improve efficiency and cost effectiveness. But much to everyone’s surprise, the legislation didn’t have a tremendous impact until 2003, when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services mandated the use of electronic data interchange (EDI) and set standards for information privacy and security. More recently HIPAA introduced a new National Provider Identifier (NPI) system, creating unique identifiers for physicians and health care organizations across the United States.
Despite all these sweeping changes, the work of simplification continues and remains ongoing. Last year, for example, the Department of Health and Human Services published a final rule adopting the X12 Version 5010 for HIPAA transactions. The compliance date for Version 5010 is January 1, 2012, which gives the industry an opportunity to test-run the new standards and make sure they’re in good working order as they replace Versions 4010 and 4010A.