HHS launches campaign to educate patients about HIPAA September 22, 2017
Patients are asked to sign paperwork, when visiting a physician’s office, that states they understand their rights under HIPAA. Of course, most people do not read all of the fine print and probably do not truly grasp all that HIPAA covers. In fact, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, more commonly known as HIPAA, encompasses rules related to both security and privacy.
Patients can be assured their medical information is safe and secure and can only be shared with authorized entities, under HIPAA. They can also be assured that they have access to their own medical information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule gives patients the right to examine their own health records, obtain a copy of their health records, and request corrections on their health records if necessary.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a campaign to help patients learn more about their health information rights: Get It. Check It. Use It. HHS encourages patients to ask for their health information, to review it for accuracy, and to communicate with their physicians regarding their healthcare.
HHS emphasizes that all patients have rights to their own healthcare information. A patient who has access to healthcare records has a “powerful tool in staying healthy.” The campaign encourages all patients to request their health information so they can have a better understanding of what is in their records and so they can share it with others, if necessary.
The campaign also points out that many physicians have web portals that enable patients to easily access their healthcare records electronically. When patients are able to review their physician’s visit notes, their lab results, and their medical history, they tend to “ask better questions and make healthier choices” because, as the campaign states, “Information is key to making good healthcare decisions.”