What is HIPAA? Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

by The Virtual Attorney
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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. In a world that in continuously becoming more connected, the exchange of such information is simplified, and there was an increasing risk that it could end up in places we may not want. With that in mind, in 1996, Congress passed a set of statutes known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or in more common lingo, HIPAA.

While most have heard the term HIPAA used in some context before, many still don’t know exactly what it means to them.

Basically, HIPAA contains two major parts that are applicable to each of us as consumers of health insurance and medical services. Those are the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule.

The Privacy Rule gives consumers rights over their health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive that information. For example, medical conditions, history or past treatments are protected information under HIPAA. It applies to any form of medical information- whether written, oral or electronic which a “covered entity” (i.e. health care providers; insurance companies) has on you.

The Security Rule sets standards which must be followed by those entities to ensure that your health information in electronic form remains secure.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
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JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

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Security

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Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

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Changes in Our Privacy Policy

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