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This course summarizes The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (‘Privacy Rule’), which was developed to assist in implementing the requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (‘HIPAA’). The Privacy Rule standards address the use and disclosure of individuals’ health information called ‘protected health information’ by organizations subject to the Privacy Rule known as ‘covered entities.’ The standards also address individuals’ privacy rights to understand and control how their health information is used.


a). Describe the key elements of the Privacy Rule to determine how it strikes a balance that permits important uses of pertinent health information, while protecting the privacy of people who seek care and healing.

b). Identify the ‘covered entities’ for which the Rule applies including health plans, health care clearinghouses, and any health care providers who transmit health information in electronic form in connection with transactions for which the Secretary of HHS has adopted standards under HIPAA.

c). Analyze the basic principals of required disclosures, and permitted uses and disclosures of the privacy rule.

d). Assess the covered entity’s responsibility in obtaining an individual’s authorization to use or disclose psychotherapy notes and any exceptions to this responsibility.

e). Identify state laws and federal requirements that pertain to the Privacy Rule as well as enforcement and penalties for noncompliance.

Target Audience:

The target audience for this event includes psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed counselors, MFT’s, and other clinical mental health professionals.

Instructional Level: Intermediate

Instructor(s): Jennifer Sweeton, Psy.D, MS, MA

Material Author(s): United States Department of Health and Human Services

For additional information about this course, the instructors, or the material authors, please contact Content Assistance at 

Featured Materials :

Summary of HIPAA Privacy Rule