Wednesday, August 18, 2004

OCR Issues Two New Fact Sheets on the HIPAA Privacy Rule

Today the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the US Department of Health and Human Services issued two new Fact Sheets discussing the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on health care consumers.

According to the OCR the Fact Sheets are designed to provide an easy-to-understand overview of what the Privacy Rule means to consumers. The Fact Sheets can be accessed from the "What's New" column on the OCR website.

The OCR states that, "[t]he first Fact Sheet, entitled, "Privacy and Your Health Information" is a general overview of the Rule, explaining that the Privacy Rule gives individuals rights over their health information, sets rules and limits on how information can be used and disclosed, and requires covered entities to take steps to protect health information. The second Fact Sheet, entitled, "Your Health Information Privacy Rights," focuses on each of the privacy rights individuals have under the Privacy Rule."

Health care providers who are required to comply with HIPAA should read these Fact Sheets to better understand OCR's perspective on what the HIPAA Privacy Rule requires.

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