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Patient Privacy

  • By: Sandra Petronio & Ashley Duggan
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Most commonly, patient privacy is defined from a legal perspective. Based on the legal protection and security of health information as defined in the United States by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), people generally associate patient privacy with HIPAA regulation. HIPAA was enacted by Congress in 1996, setting national standards intended to protect patients' written and electronic health information. HIPAA designates codes that concern sensitive financial information related to health care services and applies to health care that is in process or ongoing medical care, as well as past health care procedures or purchases and any health care that might apply in the future. One goal of the HIPAA law is to enact legislation that safeguards the privacy of individual patients and ...

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