The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by Congress in 1996 to:
- Allow employees to take their health insurance coverage with them when moving from one employer with a group health plan to another
- Ensure provisions are in place to safeguard the privacy and security of protected health information provided during healthcare activities
- Establish a unique national provider identifier (NPI) to assist in identifying healthcare providers
- Enact provisions which health with electronic transmission of financial transactions and code-sets that identify them
In an effort to increase awareness of our privacy practices among our patients and to comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, UT Southwestern Medical Center provides a Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) to patients when a treating relationship is established between the patient and one of our healthcare providers.
This NPP brochure outlines the rights and responsibilities of UT Southwestern (hospitals, healthcare providers, research laboratories, and pharmacies) and the patient when dealing with the provision of protected health information related to care you receive from us.
After presenting the patient with the brochure, our staff members must make a good faith effort to collect a signature from the patient acknowledging receipt of the NPP brochure.
The Notice of Privacy Practices can be obtained in English and in Español through the HIPAA Privacy Office.
As stated above, the Notice of Privacy Practices contains information about a standardized set of patient rights, applicable to all patients, regardless of where they seek medical care. These rights include the following:
- The right to receive a facility-specific Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP)
- The right to confidential communications (to call you at a certain number or use a specific mailing address when communicating about your care)
- The right to an accounting of disclosures (to whom UT Southwestern provides information about you)
- The right to amend medical records (to correct erroneous information)
- The right to file a complaint alleging a violation of patient privacy with the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- The right to request restrictions (access to your protected health information)