Patient’s Guide to HIPAA Overview

This category includes the introductory FAQs of the Patient’s Guide to HIPAA. You can read each FAQ separately, or read them all on one page. Scroll down to find the topic you are interested in, or jump to the Patient’s Guide Index category.

In this category:

FAQs 1-3

– About the guide
– How to navigate and use the guide
– Background on health care laws other than HIPAA

Home of the Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: How to Use the Law to Guard your Health Privacy

In this guide, we talk about laws, rules, regulations, act, and statutes. Lawyers can find real and technical differences between these terms, but the differences don’t matter much to patients. For our purposes, the terms are generally interchangeable references to legally binding policies or obligations.

Patient’s Guide to HIPAA – Overview: Where Else Can I Find Help?

Roadmap: Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: Part 1: Learning About HIPAA (FAQ 2 of 65)

If you want the official view – as well as the text of the federal health rule known as HIPAA and related materials – go to the website of the Office of Civil Rights (you will often see this office referred to as its acronym, OCR) of the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at The website offers fact sheets, FAQs, formal summaries of the HIPAA privacy rule, and more. The official materials are formal and even useful at times, but there is a lot to wade through. We seek to tell it like it is. The Office of Civil Rights tells it like it is supposed to be. Both views have relevance.

Patient’s Guide to HIPAA – Overview: What Federal Laws Are Relevant to Health Privacy?

Roadmap: Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: Introduction and Purpose (FAQ 3 of 65)

HIPAA is the most important federal health privacy law for almost everybody in the United States. Most of this guide explains what you should know about HIPAA.

We also highlight some other federal laws that may be relevant to your health privacy. There are five federal laws beyond HIPAA we think you should know about. Each of these touches on privacy in a slightly different way.