The Effects of Federal Laws and Regulations on the Practice of the Profession of a Psychologist
The information generated during a psychological treatment has always been considered as confidential. However, the enactment of the HIPAA made this information even more private and the protection thereof became one of the priorities of practitioners. Technically, the enactment of the HIPAA is intended to help the psychologists keep maintain the privacy of information by providing guidelines in record-keeping and maintaining the confidentiality of information generated in a patient-psychologist relationship. According to Harris (2003), it is expected “that at least some changes in confidentiality protections and patient rights instituted by the Privacy Rule will become the new standard of care and thus apply to all psychologists”[Harris, E. 2003, p.12 also cited in Zur, 2003]. The changes that the HIPAA brings about in the areas of records keeping will hopefully, upgrade the services and the practice of psychologists around the country. Technically, the upgrading of services on the part of the psychologists could mean better patient-psychologist relationship.The HIPAA is also intended to prepare the psychologist of the development in technology by setting up some standards on how a practitioner may be able to protect medical records and billings that are transmitted through the internet. The provisions on the transmission of information through the internet were formulated in anticipation of the time when psychologists will rely heavily on the use of technology to deliver information. Note that the leak of information whether intentional or unintentional on the part of the psychologist can be a ground for litigation that may affect the practice of the psychologist. By providing guidelines on record keeping and transmission of information, the HIPAA hopes to prevent some unfounded suits against the psychologist.On the other hand, HIPAA offers a huge advantage on the part of the patient.