Understanding Health and Medical Privacy

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has recently updated and expanded our consumer guides on health privacy.  We are excited to release our updated HIPAA Health Privacy Fact Sheets.   As always, please feel free to contact us with your privacy questions and complaints.  We are also open to suggestions for additional educational content on our website.

Fact Sheet 8: Introduction to Health and Medical Information Privacy
This guide addresses the vast quantity of health and medical information that exists and is generated on a daily basis.  It also addresses a number of the various players that store, create or have access to health or medical information. 

Fact Sheet 8a: Health Privacy: HIPAA Basics
This guide provides a short history of HIPAA as well as important definitions and information about the scope of the well-known (but not well-understood) federal law dealing with health information privacy. 

Fact Sheet 8b: The HIPAA Privacy Rule: How May Covered Entities Use and Disclose Health Information?
This guide covers the ways in which HIPAA covered entities may use and disclose an individual’s health information, and the varying degrees of patient control in such situations.

Fact Sheet 8c: The HIPAA Privacy Rule: Patients’ Rights
This guide explains the rights patients have under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. 

Fact Sheet 8d: Protecting Health Information: The HIPAA Security and Breach Notification Rules
This guide provides a broad overview of the transition from paper to electronic health records. It discusses the security measures that covered entities must take to safeguard electronic protected health information.  It also discusses information breaches, and what individuals can expect if their protected health information is compromised.

Fact Sheet 8e: Health Privacy outside the Healthcare Environment: Health Records on the Job, Available to the Government, and in Credit Reports
This guide provides information on how, if at all, health information might be protected in various settings where HIPAA may not apply. 

Visit our Medical Privacy page to find additional resources on health-related privacy issues.