HHS OCR – Your Health Information, Your Rights

Your health information,
your rights. Whether your health
information is stored on paper
or electronically, you have the right
to keep it private. Those rights are protected
under a law known as HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability
and Accountability Act. HIPAA gives you
important rights. First off,
you have the right to see or get a copy
of your medical records. Sometimes
you might not be able to see certain parts
of the full record, but you always have
the right to ask. If you find a mistake
in your record, you have the right to request
to have it corrected. If you disagree with
your doctor or health plan about certain information
in your record, you have a right
to submit a written statement
of disagreement that will be kept
with your record. You also have
the right to know how your health information
is used and shared. Now, your provider is allowed
to share your information for certain reasons
without asking you first, like when your doctors
work together to determine how to best
treat you when you're sick or to report the flu
when it's in your area, but, in general, your providers
can't give information to an employer, for example,
without your permission. And if you'd like
to know who has seen your
health information, you have the right
to get a report. That's called an
"accounting of disclosures." HIPAA gives you the right to say
how you want to be contacted. For example,
you can tell your provider what phone number they
should call to contact you and whether they
can leave a message. HIPAA also gives you
the right to request that your information
not be shared with certain people
or organizations. All these rights
are spelled out in the Notice
of Privacy Practices, which is usually
given to you or posted at your doctor's
office or hospital. Be sure to read
this notice carefully. It lets you know
exactly how your information
will be used and shared and how your rights
are being protected. And, lastly, if you think
any of these rights have been violated, you have
the right to file a complaint. We're serious
about working with you to protect your
health information. Know your rights. To get started,
just visit the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights
at hhs.gov/ocr.

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