Due to the requirements of the DHHS Privacy Rule, CMS will redact (remove) all protected
health information (PHI) from electronically submitted comments before posting them
to this website.
The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (Privacy
Rule) establishes a set of national standards for the protection of certain health
information. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the Privacy
Rule to implement the requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The Privacy Rule standards address the use and disclosure of
individuals' health information-called PHI.
The Privacy Rule protects all "individually identifiable health information" held
or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media,
whether electronic, paper, or oral.
PHI includes data that relates to:
- the individual's past, present or future physical or mental health or condition,
- the provision of health care to the individual, or
- the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual,
- information that identifies the individual or for which there is a reasonable basis
to believe can be used to identify the individual.
Examples of PHI include diagnoses (for yourself, family members or friends), medications,
Medicare or SSN numbers, names of doctors, dates of treatment, etc.