Health Department

HIPAA Privacy Notice

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law to protect patients' medical records and other health information. It was enacted to ensure the privacy of individuals' medical records, and to reduce medical administration costs for businesses. Congress made these rules to provide a minimum and uniform level of federal protection, in addition to any state laws on patients' privacy. There are three main parts of HIPAA.

  • Ensure the privacy of patient records by offering new basic rights,
  • Ensure the security of patient records by requiring new protection rules, and
  • Reduce medical administration costs by mandating standard coding systems.

On April 14, 2003, the new rules went into effect for:

  • Health care providers (for example, doctors, hospitals, health departments),
  • Health plans (for example, HMOs, Medicare, Medicaid, MI-Child), and
  • Clearinghouses (for example, medical billing and claims services)

The Kent County Health Department is required to follow HIPAA rules. Your rights and details about how HIPAA works are described in a "Privacy Notice." This sheet is available for you to read and print out by following the instructions below. You may get a paper copy at any Kent County Health Department clinic, or by calling the Health Department.