Ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, the world is going through a difficult time. The unusually fast communication capacity of the Coronavirus has restricted the lives of people. Since the disease gets easily transferred, the WHO has already given some mandatory guidelines to check the disease’s spread.
No matter how restrictive these guidelines may seem, with no effective solution and medicines in hand, these are the only means for us to survive the battle against the deadly virus. One of these guidelines is to wear a mask in public covering the nose and the mouth. Surely it doesn’t feel very pleasant to put a mask on every time you go out.
But, considering the virus’s communication pattern, this seems the most suitable idea to check the pace of spread of the virus. This pandemic has surely changed our lives upside down and posed restrictions we never thought of. But, to match the demand of the day, it seems legit to follow the rules and stay safe.
Now the question is whether you can ask someone the reason he/she is not wearing a mask while visiting your place. Especially for businesses, it has become a huge problem as many are refusing to wear a mask while visiting the shops or any other premise. Some are even citing the instance of the HIPAA rule that protects the individual’s medical information privacy.
What Is HIPAA
HIPAA is the acronym for Health Insurance Probability and Accountability Act, which came into force in 1996. Bill Clinton was the president who signed this act and included the same under the federal law provisions for health care. Once the healthcare sector’s spread started to grow, securing the secrecy of the data emerged as an essential measure.
In order to secure the huge volume of data related to individuals that this sector deals with, the American Government provided for this act. It is still instrumental in protecting the privacy of personal health information.
Motto Of HIPAA
HIPAA aimed at the reduction and abolition of healthcare abuse and fraud. Who can deny the role the healthcare sector plays in determining the overall quality of a country’s population? Any malpractices in this sector can be detrimental to the nation’s economic prosperity at any point in time. If the human resource of a country will not be in safe hands, the nation’s future will surely be at stake.
Everyone needs to provide all the health condition information to whoever asks the same. Like every other variety of personal information, a person’s medical conditions and information should also remain private. This is what HIPAA made possible on a large scale. HIPAA established new standards for health information privacy protection. This, in turn, spared general people the obligation of disclosing health conditions to everyone.
Often, people consult doctors, hospitals, and clinics for treatment. This is when they compulsorily disclose their health information to certain people and organizations. HIPAA made sure that every individual’s information will remain protected and secured with these organizations and professionals.
Suppose the doctor concerned or the clinic leaks the information of any individual to someone else without the patient’s permission. In that case, the same will be a criminal act and would be punishable under law.
Earlier, plenty of employers denied work opportunities to people with pre-existing medical conditions. However, HIPAA ensured that everyone would get the legit right to employment minus any disease based discrimination. Also, it ensured that everyone would be eligible for insurance regardless of the existing health conditions.
No matter what the HIPAA provides, it never says that you can put another person’s life at risk while protecting your medical information. Stephen Sullivan, a Louisiana attorney, remarked that HIPAA offered to protect information held by the medical practitioners and other similar organizations who offer medical care services on a paid basis.
Hence, a general business owner does not fall under this category. A general person or businessman can freely ask another person the reason for not wearing a mask as it could be a source of contamination for him.
Mask And Civil rights
Some people are also upholding the entire act of not wearing a mask in public to be their civil rights. However, no part of civil rights states that a person’s right should be in contradiction with another person’s interest or well-being.
And, by not wearing a mask, a person is enhancing the risk of contamination for him and the rest. Hence, if a business owner forbids a person from entering the premises for not wearing a mask, this can’t be an act of violation of any of the rules and acts.
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