New HIPAA Education Tools for Patients, Providers Hit Web

Hoping to improve consumers’ knowledge of their healthcare privacy and security rights, the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has developed an array of new patient-facing educational tools about HIPAA. The tools accompany a slew of practical, free information about HIPAA released on the Internet that both patients and health information management professionals can use to improve their understanding of the regulation, which recently was revamped by the HITECH-HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule.

Seven fact sheets that give patients a list of rights granted under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, available in eight languages, have been posted to OCR’s website.

The fact sheets offer information on frequently asked health information questions, such as “Employers and Health Information in the Workplace,” patients’ “Right to Access” their information, and when information can be released due to “Court Orders and Subpoenas.”

The fact sheets have been added to OCR’s website directly below seven consumer-facing videos first released earlier this year on OCR’s YouTube channel which also inform patients and their loved ones about health information privacy rights and restrictions. Recently added is an additional industry-facing video called “The HIPAA Security Rule,” designed to help providers in small practices understand how to comply with security rule requirements and implement basic patient information safeguards.

Providers looking for guidance on the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules can also view three modules developed by Medscape. The modules, “Patient Privacy: A Guide for Providers,” “HIPAA and You: Building a Culture of Compliance,” and “Examining Compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule” are available for free on the Medscape website.

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