Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: How to Use the Law to Guard your Health Privacy
Prepared by Robert Gellman for the World Privacy Forum
With assistance from Pam Dixon, executive director World Privacy Forum, John Fanning, former privacy advocate, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Lewis Lorton, health technology and privacy expert. Robert Gellman and the World Privacy Forum take responsibility for the judgments and accuracy of information in this guide. Nothing in this guide constitutes legal advice.
How to Use This Guide
You can access the Guide here, or you can use the drop-down menu containing all the parts of the Guide at the top of each page.
The Guide offers a roadmap through the thicket of dense health privacy laws and rules that many patients have questions about. The purpose of this guide is to help patients cut through the red tape and understand how to make health privacy laws work to protect their privacy.
The Guide is written for patients, and uses a Frequently Asked Questions and Answers format. The Guide focuses mostly on the federal health privacy rule known as HIPAA. This federal privacy rule establishes a baseline of protection that applies to health care providers and health care insurers throughout the United States. The guide also discusses other federal laws that cover some medical records. This guide does not offer detailed, technical explanations for every provision and every nuance of HIPAA. Instead, this guide concentrates on those parts of HIPAA that will be most helpful to real people. This guide does not offer a review of state law, and you need to know that a stronger state law can provide additional privacy protections.
You can use the Index to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to jump to the part of the Guide that covers your particular question or problem, or you can navigate through the Guide using the drop down menus at the top of each page.
More navigation tips
You can navigate through the HIPAA Guide several ways:
Originally posted March 31, 2009
Guide design and logos John Boak of BoakArt