Departments & Programs,UW Hospital and Clinics,Compliance,Privacy,HIPAA,Privacy Rule

Know Patients' Privacy Rights

Know Patients' Privacy Rights - Departments & Programs, UW Hospital and Clinics, Compliance, Privacy, HIPAA, Privacy Rule


HIPAA gives patients certain rights that workers must know and follow.

The right to request alternative communications. Under HIPAA, patients can ask workers to contact them in a certain way. For example, a patient may ask a nurse, "Can you not call me at work, and leave a message on my voicemail instead?" If a patient's request is reasonable, UW Health providers must follow it. 

The right to look at (and make copies of) records. Like under state law, HIPAA allows patients to ask to look at their medical and billing records, and request copies. 

The right to ask for changes to medical and billing records. Patients can ask UW Health providers if their medical or billing records can be changed. If we decide the changes are appropriate, we may agree to do this. 

The right to get a list of certain disclosures. If a worker discloses patient information to outside persons or organizations, and that disclosure is the type that benefits the public (as defined earlier), the worker must record the disclosure on a list. Patients have the right to see this list, and get a copy of it. 

The right to request restrictions on how patient information is used and disclosed. Patients can ask UW Health providers to restrict the ways we use their patient information. However, we cannot guarantee to apply a restriction at all times because of the number, complexity, and nature of the services we deliver. 

The right to receive a Notice Form. UW Health providers must give a Notice of Privacy Practices form (Notice Form) to every patient. The Notice Form describes our privacy practices, and HIPAA privacy rules. Each patient is asked to sign a sheet acknowledging he or she received the Notice Form. Once a patient has been given a UW Health provider Notice Form, he or she does not need to be given a Notice Form again at any of the other UW Health provider locations

A patient may ask workers - including yourself - about these rights. Please contact your supervisor or the UWHC Privacy Officer if you have questions about patient rights. Also see Policy 6.23: Accounting for Protected Health Information Disclosures.