I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 3103, the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.” For the first time, this Act will ensure the portability of health benefits when workers change or lose their jobs and will protect workers against discrimination by health plans based on their health status.
- President Bill Clinton
Of the now 4 posts to date – this one is a CaptureProof favorite – because we finally get to talk about how privacy and security was brought to US healthcare.
When we asked you yesterday: what change President Clinton brought to Medicare and healthcare putting patient privacy first – if you guessed HIPPA – you were right!
In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Protection Act created the Medicare Integrity Program to decrease fraud, crime, and waste. HIPAA still governs healthcare privacy and security today, guarding a patient’s protected health information.
After the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 passed, the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission were created to replace the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission and the Physician Payment Review Commission. The 1997 act also established new Medicare options, and increased benefits for those in extreme poverty (120-175%) of the federal poverty line.
A few months before the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton began, Congress took the first step towards modernizing Medicare. With technology on the rise and the dot com boom around the corner, the government launched the Medicare.gov website, providing resources for patients and providers to discover new plans generally educate them. Riding in on its coattails, a year later, the toll free number, 1-800-MEDICARE, is launched nationwide and a Medicare & You handbook was sent to all eligible households.
In 2001, Medicare expanded yet again. This time, The Consolidated Appropriations Act was passed, which granted coverage to those with MLS or Lou Gehrig’s disease upon diagnosis.
Finally, in 2003, the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act passed. Signed into law by George W. Bush, it created Part D, a program to provide discounts on prescription drugs.
The next post will cover the final decade of Medicare’s evolution! Make sure to celebrate #Medicareturns50 and read the final post.