Your rights under HIPAA as a consumer

HIPAA privacy rule gives your rights to protect your personal health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information. In order to avail the rights under HIPAA you should be fully aware of its provisions and your rights under it. Here is your guide to HIPAA as a consumer.

Under HIPAA, you have the right to seek the following from the Health Insurers and Providers who are covered entities:

* Ask to see and get a copy of your health records
* Have corrections added to your health information
* Receive a notice that tells you how your health information may be used and shared
* Give approval or deny the use or sharing of your health information for certain purposes, such as for marketing
* If your health information was used for some purpose, you are entitled to a report on this.
* In case of violation of your rights, you can either file a complaint with your provider or health insurer or file a complaint with the U.S. Government.

However, in order to comply with your health care your information can be used and shared in these cases:

* For your treatment and care coordination
* To pay doctors and hospitals for their services.
* With your family, relatives, friends, or others who are involved with your health care or your health care bills, subject to your approval.
* When public safety is concerned such as in cases of flu.
* In case of police case, such as reporting gunshot wounds

In these cases, however, the law requires your authorization, for use of your medical health records:

* Give your information to your employer
* Use or share your information for marketing or advertising purposes