HIPAA Policy

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

Mission Statement

The mission of the County of York's HIPAA Initiative is to comply with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

The York County HIPAA Program will implement and maintain a system which integrates confidentiality, privacy and security into all aspects of County operations, while maintaining record-keeping and cost efficiencies on behalf of the citizens of York County.


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights.


The purpose of the legislation is:

  1. To allow individuals to take their insurance coverage with them when they change or leave jobs (Portability),
  2. To standardize electronic healthcare transactions and to protect the privacy and security of individually identifiable protected health information (PHI) (Accountability).

Implementation Timetable

Portability of Health Insurance - This component of the HIPAA regulations, also referred to as Title 1, has been in effect since 1996. In York County, the Human Resources Department is responsible for implementing this portion of the regulations.

Privacy - Organizations must be in compliance with the Privacy requirements by April 14, 2003.

Standardization of Electronic Transactions - Organizations must have systems remediated and be in compliance with standardized transaction requirements by October 16, 2003.

Security - Organizations must be in compliance with the security requirements by April 21, 2005.

York County Plan for Implementation

York County is committed to protecting the privacy, security and confidentiality of the health information of all consumers that we serve.

To assist York County Human Service Programs and other County agencies in complying with the requirements of this legislation.

The Human Resources Department recognizes its responsibility to protect and safeguard the protected health information with which it is entrusted by the customers that we serve. By working in the Human Services Department, Human Resources is able to facilitate the priority of coordinating and implementing the policies, procedures, documentation and record-keeping necessary for Human Services agencies to comply with the law.

What Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule Mean for You as a Consumer?

Individuals have been granted certain rights with respect to protected health information as a result of the HIPAA regulations. Individual rights include:

  • The right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information
  • The right to receive confidential communications of protected health information
  • The right to inspect and copy protected health information
  • The right to amend protected health information
  • The right to receive an accounting of disclosures of protected health information
  • The right to obtain a paper copy of the organization's Notice of Privacy Practices which contains information about the organization's responsibilities as well as the individual's rights

Websites for Additional Information

If you would like more information about the HIPAA regulations, their impact on the healthcare industry and how it affects you as a consumer, the following websites are a sample of those that contain helpful information.

York County Notice of Privacy Practices

The York County Notice of Privacy Practices for Personal Health Information became effective April 14, 2003.

The following notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review carefully.


The County of York, Pennsylvania serves its citizens through many programs including health and human services. We are required by law and are committed to keeping your personal health information private, confidential, and secure; to give you this notice; and to do what we say in the notice. If there are changes to this notice, we will mail you a new notice.

Confidentiality & Uses of Your Information

The County of York and its programs may use or share your health information for:

  • Treatment: to get you the health services that you need. For example, we may share information with your doctor to take care of you.
  • Payment: to get payment or to pay for services you receive. For example, your hospital bill that we send for payment has your name and the tests you had done on it.
  • Health care operations: to coordinate and manage County services for you. For example, we may use the information to help decide what services we should offer in the future.
  • Your permission: you may also give us your written permission to use or share information for any purpose. You can change your permission, in writing, at any time. We cannot use or share your information for reasons other than what is listed in this notice, unless you give us permission.

Other Uses of Your Information Not Requiring Your Permission

There are other reasons that we may, or are required to, use or share your health information:

  • National security, military and veterans: for national security or intelligence. Also, health information can be given to the appropriate military authorities if you are or have been in the U.S. armed forces.
  • Public Health: for public health including but not limited to when you have been exposed to a disease, may be at risk for spreading disease or to an authority authorized by law to receive reports of abuse and neglect.
  • Health Oversights: for audits, inspections and licensing.
  • By law, for law enforcement, or court order: when we are required by law, for law enforcement purposes or in response to a subpoena or court order.
  • Emergency care, disaster relief, or to avoid harm: to provide emergency care, disaster relief, and/or to prevent a serious threat to the health and safety of a person or the public, including those in the corrections system.
  • Coroners, medical examiners, funeral directors, for organ donation: to perform their duties.
  • Family, friends, and others: in certain cases, to tell a family member or friend of your general condition and where you are. Also, when you agree in advance, we can share information with family and friends involved in your medical care or paying for that care.
  • Workers' compensation: to process benefits.

Your Rights to Privacy

You have the following rights about your health information:

  • Right to see and get copies of your health information records. You may be charged a fee for copies.
  • Right to ask for a correction to your records.
  • Right to ask that we limit how your information is used or shared. However, we do not have to agree to your request.
  • Right to take back permission. You can change your permission to share, or limit the sharing, of your health information.
  • Right to confidential communications. You can request that we sen mail to another address or call you at another phone number, for example.
  • Right to receive a list of who we've share your health information with after April 14,2003. This list would not include sharing for treatment, payment, or operations; or those made with your permission.
  • Right to get a paper copy of this Notice.
  • Right to file a complaint.

For more information

If you have questions or want more information, call or write:

The County of York
Department of Human Resources - Benefits Office
28 East Market Street, Room 210
York, PA 17401
Phone: 717-771-9214
Alternate Phone; 717-771-9560

To Report a Problem

If you feel your privacy rights have been violated, you may write to:

County of York
Attention: Privacy Officer
28 East Market Street, 2nd Floor
York, PA 17401

You may also file a complaint with:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Civil Rights
200 Independence Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20201

Your rights and benefits will not be affected, and you will not be retaliated against if you complain.