The guide focuses mostly on the federal health privacy rule known as HIPAA. This federal privacy rule establishes a baseline of protection that applies to health care providers and health care insurers throughout the United States. The guide also discusses other federal laws that cover some medical records. The guide concentrates on those parts of HIPAA that will be most helpful to real people.
This guide reflects the HIPAA Privacy Rule in effect as of September 23, 2013. It includes the changes that the Department of Health and Human Services adopted early in 2013 and that took effect on September 23, 2013. These changes cover amendments made by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH Act) and by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).