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 which provide stronger privacy protections apply over and above the new Federal privacy standards.
Applies to all members of the UW-Madison Health Care Component.
The following entities or units thereof comprise the University of Wisconsin Affiliated Covered Entity:
UW-Madison researchers with appointments to departments or programs which are not included in the UW HCC (as defined below) 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 (as defined below) are considered members of the UW HCC and, thus, the 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 US Department Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for enforcing the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, and an individual’s non-compliance may result in institutional non-compliance and/or an investigation by OCR. OCR attempts to resolve investigations by obtaining voluntary compliance and entering into Corrective Action Plans and Resolution Agreements. Failures 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.