Security Basics (Part Sixteen) What Type of Information Does HIPAA Protect?

Posted by Thomas Davon on

You might sometimes want to take actions thinking you have the right to this or that and it could be so disdainful to be told by a legal firm or a lawyer that you don’t have a case after threatening to take legal actions. This is one reason why you should know information the HIPAA protects. The HIPAA does not cover every aspect of health, therefore there is need to know the limitations of the act. The types of information that the Privacy Rule protects are basically those individually health information that are either transmitted or held by a Covered Entity (CE) or the CE’s Business Associate (BA). The health information may be held or transmitted either in an electronic format or paper format or oral format. These information held or transmitted in any of these formats is considered as Protected Healthy Information (PHI).

These information may be demographic information that are concerned with the person’s past health information, present health information, future health information and the individual’s general health information. It also covers the health care services received and the payments made for these health care services received either in the past, in the present or future payments.


These individually identifiable health information can be used to identify the individual in question and as a matter of fact, they are currently being used to identify patients by a lot of hospitals.

Once a patient’s personal data is attached to a medical record, medical bill, laboratory test result or report it becomes a Protected Health Information (PHI). And as the name implies, it must be protected from getting into unauthorized hands.


You should know that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Rules do not protect individually identifiable health information that are in your career’s employment records. They do not also protect health information that are covered by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as amended. These information are already protected and are taken care of by the FERPA.

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