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Will my doctor tell me if he or she shares my health information?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Breach Notification Rule requires most doctors, hospitals, other healthcare providers and health insurance companies to notify you of a breach if unsecured information about you is seen by someone who is not supposed to see it. This federal law also requires healthcare providers and insurance companies to promptly notify the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if there is any breach of unsecured protected health information and notify the media and public if the breach affects more than 500 people.

This requirement helps people know if protected health information has been breached and helps keep providers accountable for the protection of your health information. Health information that has been encrypted so that people cannot read it is considered to be secure. Healthcare providers do not have to report if someone who is not authorized attempts to access encrypted information.
You have a right to receive an "accounting of disclosures," which is a list of certain instances when your health care provider or health plan has shared your health information with another person or organization. There are some major exceptions to this right. Currently, an accounting of disclosures does not include information about when your health care provider or health plan shares your information with another person or organization for treatment, payment or health care operations.

 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.