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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Public Law 104-191 enacted August 21, 1996
Through subtitle F of title XI of that law, Congress added part C to title XI of the Social Security Act.
The purpose is to improve Medicare and Medicaid through mandatory standards for EDI and security.
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There is tremendous demand for document processing within the medical field. Savings from increased efficiency and from the reduction in physical space are budgetary incentives for the computerization of legacy and current data. The financial incentives to improve the quality of data handling provide justifications which will eventually have an effect on morbidity and mortality of patient health care.
Health Level 7
In an effort to consolidate standards, HL7 is the most likely set of standards to bring the varied standards together.

Conventional messaging is supported, but the goal of the XML-based version 3 is to provide global metadata distributed physically among institutions. Using a standard set of tags, the RIM (Reference Information Model) extends SGML into a global comprehension of interrelations among 'objects' and 'actors' in the medical world.
These standards can be understood by visiting the web site for the HL7 organization in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
 HIPAA Administrative Simplification Compliance Act
This act, signed into law in January, 2002, clarifies when and how a health provider needs to comply with HIPAA standards to communicate with Medicare. The X.12 EDI communication protocols have been used since the 80s. In the 90s, many retailers, such as CompUSA, have required X.12 forms 850, 810 and 836 for processing orders, billing and invoicing. There are VANs (Value Added Networks) in place to simplify and process these types of communications.

 ADA American Disabilities Act
As part of the WIA (Workforce Investment Act), the ADA is intended to provide incentives to provide help for disabled people. In order to qualify for federal funding, web sites must conform to these guidelines after July 2001. These technical modifications include minimum font sizes, color contrasts, tabbing standards and hidden alternate HTML tags that are 'readable' by the blind using mouse-driven aides. It is generally a self-judged criteria, and a logo program exists to demonstrate compliancy. Federally funded programs are at risk of being denied, if these guidelines are not addressed. Applying these standards generally improves the quality of the user interface.

Copyright 2001- William P. Fritz, All rights reserved