Patient’s Guide to HIPAA – Basic Rights: Should I Read the Notice?
You are reading the Patient’s Guide to HIPAA, FAQ 15 .
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FAQ 15: Should I Read the Notice?
The HIPAA requirement that each covered entity prepare a notice was a big advance in privacy protection. That remains true even if most patients never read the notice. The notice also tells a covered entity’s employees what the privacy rules are. That is just as important as telling patients what the rules are. In the past, employees often didn’t know whether there were privacy rules or what those rules stated.
To put it another way, you have privacy rights whether or not you know the details. Your rights do not depend on your level of understanding. You can do a better job of protecting your rights if you know more, of course.
Here’s what’s really important:
- Read the notice when it matters to you. If you decide that you want a copy of your health records, that’s a time to read the notice and find out how to obtain the records.
- If you think that there is an error in your record, read the notice and learn how to ask for a correction.
- If you think that your records were improperly used or disclosed, read the notice to see if you are right.
- If you have a privacy complaint, you can read about the complaint procedure that the rule provides.
Roadmap: Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: Part 2: Basic Patient Rights: Right to a Notice of Privacy Practices (FAQ 15 of 65)