Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA)

HIPAA (Medical Privacy)

What it means to you...photo - Ethnically diverse group of young adults

Congress passed a law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA/Medical Privacy Act). HIPAA addresses the way a patient's records are handled and maintained. In addition to current California privacy laws, HIPAA sets a national standard on how health care providers and health plans must protect medical information.

HIPAA requires all treatment providers and health plans to distribute a notice that explains your rights as a patient, how your medical information may be used, what our legal obligations are to you, and how you may contact us for information or to file a complaint. This notice is called our Notice of Privacy Practices and is available online or at any of our health care facilities.

The County of Orange is responsible for providing various services to the public including treatment clinics that provide health care services such as immunizations, dental health, outpatient mental health and methadone clinics. We also have health plans such as California Children's Services (CCS), Medical Services for Indigents (MSI), Medi-Cal Mental Health Plan (MHP) and Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP).

The County of Orange is committed to safeguarding patient privacy, especially the rights of people in sensitive health groups including those receiving mental health care, drug and alcohol treatment services, sexually transmitted disease services, and HIV treatment.

County programs follow the strictest privacy laws by which the County is governed.