The Arc of Florida is committed to ensuring that the health information of consumers being served is properly protected. All agency staff members are trained on the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) in order to ensure proper precautions are in place and what they should do if they have a concern.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued the Privacy Rule to implement the requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”).1 The Privacy Rule standards address the use and disclosure of individuals’ health information—called “protected health information” by organizations subject to the Privacy Rule — called “covered entities,” as well as standards for individuals’ privacy rights to understand and control how their health information is used. Within HHS, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has responsibility for implementing and enforcing the Privacy Rule with respect to voluntary compliance activities and civil money penalties.
A major goal of the Privacy Rule is to assure that individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well-being. The Rule strikes a balance that permits important uses of information, while protecting the privacy of people who seek care and healing. Given that the health care marketplace is diverse, the Rule is designed to be flexible and comprehensive to cover the variety of uses and disclosures that need to be addressed.
The Privacy Rule applies to all forms of individuals’ protected health information, whether electronic, written, or oral. The Security Rule is a Federal law that requires security for health information in electronic form.
The Privacy Rule establishes: (1) who must follow the HIPAA law, (2) what information is protected by HIPAA, (3) how this information is protected, (4) the individual’s rights related to their protected health information and (5) who can look at and receive protected health information.
To learn more about HIPAA and your rights, you may go to: www.hhs.gov/hipaa or download The Arc of Florida’s Notice of Privacy Practices. For any questions, you may contact our Privacy Officer, Deborah Linton at: 1-800-226-1155.