YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION IS PROTECTED BY FEDERAL LAW
Most of us believe that our medical and other health information is private and should be protected, and we want to know who has this information. The Privacy Rule, a Federal law, gives you rights over your health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information. The Privacy Rule applies to all forms of individuals’ protected health information, whether electronic, written, or oral. The Security Rule is a Federal law that requires security for health information in electronic form.
WHAT INFORMATION IS PROTECTED?
- Information your doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers put in your medical record
- Conversations your doctor has about your care or treatment with nurses and others
- Information about you in your health insurer’s computer system
- Billing information about you at your clinic
- Most other health information about you held by those who must follow these laws
WHO CAN LOOK AT AND RECEIVE YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION?
The Privacy Rule sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information.
To make sure that your health information is protected in a way that does not interfere with your healthcare, your information can be used and shared:
- For your treatment and care coordination
- To pay doctors and hospitals for your healthcare and to help run their businesses
- With your family, relatives, friends, or others you identify who are involved with your healthcare or your
- health care bills, unless you object
- To make sure doctors give good care and nursing homes are clean and safe
- To protect the public’s health, such as by reporting when the flu is in your area
- To make required reports to the police, such as reporting gunshot wounds
Your health information cannot be used or shared without your written permission unless this law allows it. For example, without your authorization, your provider generally cannot:
- Give your information to your employer
- Use or share your information for marketing or advertising purposes or sell your information
For more information visit HIPAA