Protecting the Privacy of Residents Is The Law

Protecting the privacy of residents at The Bridges is not done merely out of courtesy and respect. It is the law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services enacted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in 1996(“HIPAA”). The Privacy Rule, as part of “HIPAA”, addresses the use and discloser of individuals’ health information – called protected health information, as well as standards for individuals to understand and control how their health information is used.

The major goal of the Privacy Rule is to assure that individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well being.

Having shared the technical components of “HIPAA”, what is most important is that we as staff, residents, and family members respect the importance of what the Privacy Rule is all about- protecting the health information of each of our residents. Although we would like to share details regarding the clinical status of a resident, unfortunately we are often unable to do so.

For more information about the Privacy Rule, visit the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at www.hhs.gov