Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 serves to protect the privacy of health records and information contained in a patient’s file. Healthcare providers and healthcare plans are legally required to follow this act. Under HIPAA, you are entitled to request your health records at any time. You are also required to grant authorization for the review of your records by health providers, which is the HIPAA waiver you sign at most providers’ offices. You are also able to file a complaint to your provider or with the U.S. government if you believe your HIPAA rights have been violated.
Protected Information Under HIPAA
- Information your doctors, nurses, and other health care providers put in your medical record
- Conversations your doctor has about your care or treatment(s)
- Your information stored 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