HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a federal law that imposes national standards to protect the privacy and security of personal health information (PHI) across the United States. Being HIPAA compliant means you ensure the confidentiality of private patient information in all its forms (oral, paper, and electronic). You need to comply with HIPAA if your healthcare app is for or used by:
• healthcare providers (hospitals, clinics, doctors, and nursing homes)
• health plans (insurance companies, HMOs, and other government programs, for example, Medicare)
• healthcare clearinghouses (the middleman between providers and insurance companies that help process insurance claims).
These regulations do not apply to health service organizations that are not subject to U.S. law. At the same time, even if you are targeting only markets outside of the U.S., you might still be required to be HIPAA compliant if you process the health information of U.S. citizens that live in other countries. Being compliant with HIPAA will keep you away from fines and, at the same time, can be a benefit as your app might expand or process patient data from the U.S.