In enacting HIPAA, Congress mandated the establishment of federal standards for the privacy of individually identifiable health information. Under the patchwork of laws existing prior to adoption of HIPAA and the Privacy Rule, personal health information could be distributed—without either notice or authorization—for reasons that had nothing to do with a patient's medical treatment or health care reimbursement. For example, unless otherwise forbidden by state or local law, without the Privacy Rule patient information held by a health plan could, without the patient’s permission, be passed on to a lender who could then deny the patient's application for a home mortgage or a credit card, or to an employer who could use it in personnel decisions. The Privacy Rule establishes a federal floor of safeguards to protect the confidentiality of medical information. State laws that provide stronger privacy protections apply over and above the federal privacy standards.
Applies to all members of the UW HCC.
The following entities or units thereof comprise the UW ACE:
UW–Madison researchers with appointments to departments or programs that are not included in the UW HCC, and key personnel working with such researchers who conduct research involving the use of protected health information in collaboration with researchers with appointments in the UW HCC, are considered members of the UW HCC and, thus, UW ACE for purposes of such research.
Failing to comply with this policy may result in discipline for the individual(s) responsible for such noncompliance.
Further, the U.S. Department ofHealth and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for enforcing the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, and an individual’s noncompliance may result in institutional noncompliance and/or an investigation by OCR. OCR attempts to resolve investigations by obtaining voluntary compliance and entering into corrective action plans and resolution agreements. Failure to comply with HIPAA or cooperate with OCR in an investigation may result in civil and/or criminal penalties.
Additional information may be found at www.compliance.wisc.edu/hipaa.
05-26-2014: Effective date of the revised policy: 05-26-2014.
07-12-2018: Effective date of the revised policy: 07-12-2018.
11-22-2019: Effective date of the revised policy: 11-22-2019.
03-26-2020: Effective date of the revised policy: 03-26-2020.