Below is a brief summary provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, of your rights and protections under the federal health information privacy law. You can learn more about health information privacy rights in a fact sheet called “Your Health Information Privacy Rights.” You can also call 1-866-627-7748.
The Law Sets Rules and Limits on Who Can Look At and Receive Your Health Information
For your treatment and care coordination
To pay doctors and hospitals for your health care and help run their businesses
With your family, relatives, friends or others you identify who are involved with your health care 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
Share private notes about your mental health counseling sessions
The Law Protects the Privacy of Your Health Information
Providers and health insurers who are required to follow this law must keep information private by:
Teaching the people who work for them how your information may or may not be used and shared
Taking appropriate and reasonable steps to keep your health information secure.