Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule (2 credit hours)

Program Summary:  This course examines the HIPAA Privacy Rule and offers a summary of its key provisions.  The Rule establishes national standards for the protection of individual health information.

This course is recommended for social workers and is appropriate for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of practice. This course does not meet the ethics requirement for National Certified Counselors.

“Book  Open the Course Reading Here.

Publisher:  US Department of Health and Human Services; Office for Civil Rights

Program Objectives:  Identify which uses and disclosures are permitted under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.  Identify which uses and disclosures require authorization.  Describe the ‘minimum necessary’ requirement.  Identify the responsibilities of the covered entity.

Learning Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Review our pre-reading study guide.

NASW Code of Ethics   Social workers should protect the confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of professional service, except for compelling professional reasons. The general expectation that social workers will keep information confidential does not apply when disclosure is necessary to prevent serious, foreseeable, and imminent harm to a client or other identifiable person. In all instances, social workers should disclose the least amount of confidential information necessary to achieve the desired purpose; only information that is directly relevant to the purpose for which the disclosure is made should be revealed (1.07).

NBCC Code of Ethics  NCCs shall respect client’s privacy and shall solicit only information that contributes to the identified counseling goals (2). NCCs who seek consultation (i.e., consultees) shall protect client’s confidentiality and unnecessary invasion of privacy by providing only the information relevant to the consultation and in a manner that protects the client’s identity (15).   NCCs shall act in a professional manner by protecting against unauthorized access to confidential information. This includes data contained in electronic formats. NCCs shall inform any subordinates who have physical or electronic access to information of the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality (56).

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1: The Privacy Rule applies to all of the following except
2: PHI includes all _____________ health information.
3: A covered entity may never use or disclose protected health information without written authorization.
4: Consultation between providers regarding a patient would be permissible (no authorization needed) under the HIPAA Privacy Rule because the information is disclosed for
5: Which of the following usually requires an authorization for disclosure of PHI?
6: Obtaining written permission from individuals to use and disclose their protected health information for treatment, payment, and health care operations is _____________ under the Privacy Rule for all covered entitities.
7: Hospital directories of patient contact information are no longer allowed under HIPAA.
8: Incidental disclosure of PHI is _______________ .
9: The Privacy Rule permits use and disclosure of protected health information without an individual's authorization or permission, for ___________ national priority purposes.
10: Which of the following is not one of the 12 national priority purposes?
11: After reviewing the 12 national priority purposes, which of the following disclosures would require an individual's authorization?
12: The 'minimum necessary' requirement limits disclosure of PHI
13: Covered entities may deny an individual access to their PHI in certain specified situations, such as when a health care professional believes access could cause harm to the individual or another.
14: The Privacy Rule _________ accounting for disclosures for treatment, payment, or health care operations.
15: Under the Privacy Rule, which of the following is not a responsibility of the covered entity?
16: A group health plan and the health insurer or HMO may disclose certain PHI to the employer that sponsors and maintains the group health plan.

In order to purchase or take this course, you will need to log in. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for a free account.

After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.


Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Free State Social Work, LLC maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 9/6/2021 - 9/6/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 2 ethics continuing education credits.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Read more:
HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Information Related to Mental Health

G.M. Rydberg-Cox, MSW, LSCSW is the Continuing Education Director at Free State Social Work and responsible for the development of this course.  She received her Masters of Social Work in 1996 from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and she has over 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked as a social worker in Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City.  She currently practices in the area of hospital/medical social work.  The reading materials for this course were developed by another organization.