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University of Iowa News Release

Release: April 2, 2003

UI Hospitals And Clinics Meet New Federal Privacy Regulations

Patients will notice a few changes as health care providers such as University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City implement new federal privacy regulations on Monday, April 14.

The legislation is known as the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, often referred to as HIPAA. Congress passed the law to help address concerns about the ability of patients to transfer their health insurance coverage when they change jobs and to protect the privacy of their personal health information.

The first time that patients come to health care providers such as UI Hospitals and Clinics on and after April 14, they will receive a copy of the medical center's privacy notice. A staff member will ask patients to acknowledge that they received the information. The notice will inform patients about how the health care provider will use their health information and what rights they have as patients regarding their protected health information.

The privacy notice will provide information about how patients can obtain copies of their medical records, how to place restrictions on who receives information about their health care, and how to contact privacy officers who are responsible for helping to enforce the regulations. Patients will not receive additional copies of the privacy notice every time they visit the health care provider following their initial encounter.

UI Hospitals and Clinics is the state's comprehensive health care center. In fiscal year 2002, the 722-bed hospital admitted 40,973 patients and treated 814,104 patients in its clinics.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

CONTACT(S): Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu.