In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This law's intention was to improve portability and continuity of health insurance for groups and individuals; combat fraud, waste, and abuse in insurance and health care; and ensure privacy and confidentiality of protected health information.
We understand your health privacy is important and are committed to protecting your personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security and Privacy Rules.
Who we cover
Our HIPAA Privacy Officer is responsible for ensuring compliance of the following Hillsborough County departments/offices:
If you have a HIPAA complaint against your doctor, hospital, dentist, or any other agency/entity other than those listed above, you will need to contact them directly. We only provide compliance investigations for those Hillsborough County Administrator's departments listed above.
What are your rights
Under the HIPAA Privacy rule, your rights may include:
- access your Protected Health Information (PHI)
- request an amendment to your PHI if you disagree with what is documented
- request an accounting of disclosure of your PHI
- request that certain information be restricted from use or disclosure
- request that certain PHI be communicated in a particular manner to ensure confidentiality
- withhold authorization for the release of PHI
- authorize the release of PHI
How we can use protected health information (PHI)
A covered entity is permitted, to use and disclose protected health information without your authorization may include the following purposes:
- give to you for your review of your PHI
- treatment, payment, and health care operations
- incidental to an otherwise permitted use and disclosure such as a judicial or law enforcement exception, as enumerated in the law
- under the Opportunity to Agree or Object clause, if the individual is unavailable, incapacitated, or in an emergency situation, a covered entity may disclose PHI in the exercise of their professional judgment that the disclosure is in the best interest of the individual
- public interest and benefit activities
- limited data set for the purposes of research, public health or health care operations
How to file complaints
You have the right to make a complaint directly to the HIPAA Privacy Officer of Hillsborough County concerning our compliance with any of our established HIPAA policies and procedures, uses or disclosures of your PHI, or about our compliance with HIPAA.
All complaints should be directed to our HIPAA Privacy Officer:
Hillsborough County HIPAA Privacy Officer
601 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33601
Once we receive your complaint, either the department HIPAA Liaison or the County Privacy Officer will contact you for additional information.
File onlineFile a HIPAA Complaint
You may also make a complaint to the federal government. The Federal HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) enforces HIPAA. If you believe that we are not complying with the applicable requirements of HIPAA, you may file a complaint with OCR. When filing a complaint with OCR you must:
- file it in writing, either on paper or electronically, by mail, fax, or e-mail
- name the covered entity involved and describe the acts or omissions you believe violated the requirements of HIPAA
- file within 180 days of when you knew that the act or omission complained of occurred, unless OCR extends the 180-day period for "good cause"
For more information, go to the OCR website.
- HIPAA Patient Request for Access to PHI
- HIPAA Patient Request for Accounting of Disclosures of PHI
- HIPAA Patient Request for Amendment of PHI
- HIPAA Patient Request for Restriction of PHI
- HIPAA Request for Access to PHI for Law Enforcement
Notices, Policies, and Procedures
- HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices
- HIPAA Procedure for Filing Complaints About Privacy Practices
- HIPAA Policies
- HIPAA Procedures
- Sample Hillsborough County HIPAA BAA
For further information on HIPAA, visit the HHS.Gov - Health Information Privacy site.