I signed a Privacy Notice at my doctor’s office. What’s in that notice?

Those are not consent forms, but a list of the ways in which your doctor or provider may use or share your information.

“Covered entities” are required to provide notice to individuals of the uses and disclosures of identifiable health information that may be made under the Amended HIPAA Privacy Rule as well as the rights of the individual and legal duties of covered entities. Section 164.520 (a). These notices are called Privacy Notices.

Covered entities must “make a good faith effort” to obtain written acknowledgement of receipt by the individual of the Privacy Notice. Section 164.520(c) (2) (ii). When you sign those notices you are only acknowledging that you’ve received a copy of the many ways your provider may use your information.

Privacy Notices are likely to be lengthy, because HIPAA authorizes so many broad uses and disclosures of identifiable health information. Unfortunately, your rights are quite short. You cannot require anything of your provider. You can only make requests.

These are not consent forms. You no longer have the “right of consent” with the Amended Rules, effective April 2003.