What is HIPAA?

HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and accountability Act, passed by Congress in 1996. The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects the privacy of your health information; it says who can look at and receive your health information, and also gives you specific rights over that information. HIPAA is only one of several regulations required by Public Health to follow in providing privacy protections.
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 facilities.
 Butte County Department of Public Health is committed to safe-guarding our clients’ privacy and security. In addition to current California privacy laws, HIPAA sets a national standard on how health care providers and health plans must protect medical information.
For more information send us an email or call 530-552-4050.

Your HIPAA Privacy Rights

As of April 14, 2003, federal law provides a baseline of privacy protections for your personal health information. In order to protect your personal health information, you need to know what protections and rights you have and what you can do if you believe they have been violated. All individuals have the following rights:

  • You have the right to be told how your health care professional will use your personal health information. Most health care professionals and health plans must give you a notice of privacy practices. This notice tells you how your personal information about your health will be used. It tells you who will see your information, what your rights are, and where you can file a complaint. Generally, your health care professional uses your health information to treat you and to refer you to other recommended services. Your information is also used to bill your insurance company.
  • You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of your personal health information.
  • You have the right to request confidential communications of your personal health information.
  • You have the right to request to inspect or receive a copy of your personal health information maintained by your health care professional or health plan.
  • You have the right to request an amendment of your personal health information. 
  • You have the right to request an accounting of disclosures of your personal health information that you did not specifically authorize or that was not used for treatment, payment, and heath care operations.

This is only a brief description of your rights and does not add to, change, or replace the rights described in the notice of privacy practices provided by various Butte County Department of Public Health programs or by individual health care providers or insurers.

  1. Privacy Resources

The Butte County Department of Public Health Quality and Compliance Unit works with several other state and federal agencies to safeguard clients protected information. Below is a list of resources regarding privacy:
Dept. of Health and Human Services Privacy
This website contains information and videos about individuals’ rights with respect to their protected health information and also contains information for those entities covered by HIPAA.
Office for Civil Rights
This office handles complaints related to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and is where you may file a complaint about your Protected Health Information.
Office for Human Research Protection
This Office manages clients’ protected health information as it relates to research studies.
California Department of Health Care Services Office of HIPAA Compliance
Responsible for implementing the regulations of HIPAA and works collaboratively with Butte County Department of Public Health to safeguard PHI and investigate privacy breaches and complaints.
State of California Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General – Privacy Enforcement and Protection
Enforces state and federal privacy laws, empowers Californians with regards to their rights and strategies for protecting their privacy. This office also has a Consumer Privacy Resources page with significant information on topics like identity theft and online privacy.

  1. Privacy Forms
  1. Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP)
  1. Privacy Complaints