HIPAA compliance remains in doubt

February 11, 2004

The healthcare industry is far from ready to conduct most Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standard transactions, according to a poll of 631 healthcare executives by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

The healthcare industry is far from ready to conduct most Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standard transactions, according to a poll of 631 healthcare executives by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Phoenix Health Systems. The poll, which was conducted during the second and third weeks of January, indicates that the mandated conversion to standardized transactions is being hampered by confusion over specifications and an inability to complete testing. A major stumbling block is the lack of standardized communication of financial and relative clinical data, according to the survey. More than three-quarters of respondents indicated that their organizations are ready to accept and transmit one or more standard transactions, but less than 50% of the industry respondents are ready to accept or transmit all standard transactions.

"Considering the slow progress reported since the fall 2003 survey, it is unlikely that we will see industry-wide compliance within the near future," said D'Arcy Guerin Gue, executive vice president of Phoenix Health Systems.