Exploring HIPAA and HITECH Act Definitions: Part 2

From now through November, HIPAA.com is providing a run through of HIPAA transaction & code set, privacy, and security definitions, along with relevant HITECH Act definitions pertaining to breach notification and securing of protected health information. These definitions are key to understanding the referenced HIPAA and HITECH Act enabling regulations that are effective now and that will require compliance by covered entities and business associates now or in the months ahead, as indicated in HIPAA.com’s timeline. Each posting will contain three definitions, with a date reference to the Federal Register and citation to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). We begin the first series of postings with definitions from “Health Insurance Reform; Modifications to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); Final Rules,” Federal Register,  January 16, 2009. 45 CFR 162, Administrative Requirements: 162.103, Definitions.

Data Content

All the data elements and code sets inherent to a transaction, and not related to the format of the transaction. Data elements that are related to the format are not data content.

Data Element

The smallest named unit of information in a transaction.

Data Set

A semantically meaningful unit of information exchanged between two parties to a transaction.

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