Complete 2013 Update to WPF’s Landmark Patient’s Guide to HIPAA


September 23, 2013  Complete Update to the Patient’s Guide to HIPAA  


San Diego, CA — The World Privacy Forum is very pleased to announce the publication of a major undertaking, the complete update and revision to our landmark Patient’s Guide to HIPAA.

The new guide is written to reflect the changes in HIPAA that took effect September 23, 2013.

Longtime World Privacy Forum contributor Bob Gellman is primary author of the Guide, including the new version. Pam Dixon edited and contributed, and John Fanning, former privacy advocate, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Lewis Lorton, health technology and privacy expert contributed to the first edition of the Guide.

About the Guide:

The Patient’s Guide to HIPAA is a landmark publication because it is the first and to our knowledge — only complete guide written expressly for patients. It offers a roadmap through the thicket of dense health privacy laws and rules that many patients have questions about. The purpose of this guide is to help patients understand how to make health privacy laws work to protect their privacy.

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. This guide does not offer detailed, technical explanations for every provision and every nuance of HIPAA. Instead, this guide concentrates on those parts of HIPAA that will be most helpful to real people.

“We are especially pleased to offer this newly updated guide, ” said Pam Dixon, Executive Director of the World Privacy Forum. “This is the only resource of its kind, and it is important for patients to have understandable and digestible health privacy information to assist them as they navigate through the thickets of the health care system, and especially HIPAA.”

The authors are available for comments and interviews.


  • World Privacy Forum
  • +1 760-712-4381 or

Guide Links: