Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that:

  • Provides the ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for millions of American workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs;

  • Reduces health care fraud and abuse;

  • Mandates industry-wide standards for health care information on electronic billing and other processes; and

  • Requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information (PHI)


HIPAA sets rules about who can look at and receive your health information. This law gives you rights over your health information and when it can be shared. It also requires your doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers, and your health plan to explain your rights and how your health information can be used or shared. 

Privacy Rule? Security Rule?


HIPAA required the Secretary of the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop regulations protecting the privacy and security of certain health information. To fulfill this requirement, HHS published what are commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule. 

  • The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides federal protections for individually identifiable health information held by covered entities and their business associates and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule is balanced so that it permits the disclosure of health information needed for patient care and other important purposes. 
  • The HIPAA Security Rule specifies a series of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards for covered entities and their business associates to use to assure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information.

If you have specific questions or concerns about the privacy and security of your health information at the University of Miami, please contact the Office of HIPAA Privacy & Security.
For additional inquires, contact UMIT Security