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What is the HIPAA Privacy Rule?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule went into effect April 14, 2003. It protects the confidentiality of individuals' health data by regulating:

  • How protected health information (PHI) is used
  • To whom PHI is disclosed
  • How and where PHI is maintained
PHI includes information about a person and their physical or mental health. It applies to all such information regardless of its form; it includes oral, written, and electronic communications.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule:
  • Requires reasonable security measures to protect individuals' health information.
  • Establishes accountability for use and release of this information.
  • Gives individuals rights regarding their health information.