Decide whether to give your permission before your information can be used or shared for
In general, your health information cannot be given to your employer, used
or shared for things like sales calls or advertising, or used or shared for many other purposes unless you give your permission
by signing an authorization form. This authorization form must tell you who will get your information and what your information
will be used for.
Get a report on when and why your health information was shared
Under the law, your health information may be used and shared for particular reasons, like making sure doctors
give good care, making sure nursing homes are clean and safe, reporting when the flu is in your area, or making required reports
to the police, such as reporting gunshot wounds. In many cases, you can ask for and get a list of who your health information
has been shared with for these reasons.
You can ask to see and get a copy of your medical record and
other health information. You may not be able to get all of your information in a few special cases. For example, if your
doctor decides something in your file might endanger you or someone else, the doctor may not have to give this information
- You can get this report for free once a year.
- In most cases you should get the report within
60 days, but it can take an extra 30 days if you are given a reason.
Ask to be reached
somewhere other than home
You can make reasonable requests to be contacted at different places
or in a different way. For example, you can have the nurse call you at your office instead of your home, or send mail to you
in an envelope instead of on a postcard. If sending information to you at home might put you in danger, your health insurer
must talk, call, or write to you where you ask and in the way you ask, if the request is reasonable.
that your information not be shared
You can ask your provider or health insurer not to share
your health information with certain people, groups, or companies. For example, if you go to a clinic, you could ask the doctor
not to share your medical record with other doctors or nurses in the clinic. However, they do not have to agree to do what
If you believe your information was
used or shared in a way that is not allowed under the privacy law, or if you were not able to exercise your rights, you can
file a complaint with your provider or health insurer. The privacy notice you receive from them will tell you who to talk
to and how to file a complaint. You can also file a complaint with U.S. Government.
You may have other health information rights under your state’s laws. When these
laws affect how your health information can be used or shared, that should be made clear in the notice you receive.
Privacy is important to all of us
You have privacy rights under a
federal law that protects your health information. These rights are important for you to know. You can exercise these rights,
ask questions about them, and file a complaint if you think your rights are being denied or your health information isn’t
Who must follow this law?
- Most doctors, nurses,pharmacies, hospitals,clinics,
nursing homes,and many other healthcare providers.
- Health insurance companies, HMOs, most employer group health
- Certain government programs that pay for health care, such as Medicare and Medicaid
For more information
This is a brief summary of your rights and protections
under the federal health information privacy law. You can ask your provider or health insurer questions about how your health
information is used or shared and about your rights. You also can learn more, including how to file a complaint with the U.S.
Government, at the website at Department of Health & Human Services.