November 13, 2014

Know Your Rights – A Guide For Consumers Navigating Health Care


Washington DC Update - Learn what's happening in the policy arena for CYSHCNThe information below is provided by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR)  to help you understand your civil rights and right to the privacy of your health information. Download a printable version of this information here.

You Have a Right to Your Health Information

You’ve got a right to see or get a copy of your medical records. You can get a copy of your record electronically if your doctor keeps your information in an electronic health record. You may be charged a small fee for the cost of printing hard copies or for other supplies.

You Have a Right to Have Your Information Kept Confidential

Your doctor is required to keep your health information confidential and secure. Under a law called HIPAA, there are rules that limit who can look at and receive your health information. There are additional rules that require that doctors and hospitals protect information kept in electronic form. These fact sheets can give you more information about these rights:

Your Health Information Privacy Rights

Privacy, Security, and Electronic Health Records

Understanding the HIPAA Notice

Sharing Health Information with Family Members and Friends



These brochures are also available in a variety of languages:

- Traditional Chinese - Simplified Chinese 한국어- Korean Polski - Polish Pусский - Russian Español - Spanish Tagalog - Tagalog Tiếng Việt - Vietnamese


Also available are 10 short videos on YouTube:

Your New Rights under HIPAA

The HIPAA Omnibus Rule [for providers]

Your Health Information, Your Rights

Su Información de Salud, Sus Derechos [Spanish language: Your Health Information, Your Rights]

The Right to Access Your Health Information

Treatment, Payment and Health Care Operations

EHRs, Privacy and Security

Communicating with Friends and Family

Explaining the Notice of Privacy Practices

HIPAA Security Rule [for providers]


Additional Privacy guidance for consumers is available at:

Your Doctor Can’t Refuse to See You Because of Your Race, National Origin, Sex or Disability

It’s against the law for a doctor or hospital to discriminate against you because of your race, national origin, sex or disability. This means that you can’t be treated differently on these bases or denied things that your doctor provides to other patients who don’t share your race, national origin or sex or don’t have a disability.

If you are having a problem, the HHS Office for Civil Rights can help:

English – If you need help or speak a non-English language, call 1-800–368–1019 (TTY: 1-800-537-7697), and you will be connected to an interpreter who will assist you at no cost.

Español – Spanish – Si usted habla español marque 1800 368-1019 ( o a la línea de teléfono por texto TTY 1800-537-7697 ) y su llamada será conectada con un intérprete que le asistirá con este documento sin costo alguno.

中文 – Chinese – 如果你讲中文,请拨打1-800-368-1019 (打字电话:1-800-537-7697),你将被连接到一位讲同语种的翻译员为你提供免费服务

Tiếng Việt – Vietnamese – Nếu bạn nói tiếng Việt, xin gọi 1-800-368-1019 (TTY: 1-800-537-7697), và bạn sẽ được kết nối với một thông dịch viên, người này sẽ hỗ trợ bạn với tài liệu này miễn phí.

한국어 – Korean – 한국어를 하시면 1-800-368-1019 (청각 장애용: 1-800-537-7697) 로 연락 주세요. 통역관과 연결해서 당신의 서류를 무료로 도와 드리겠습니다. 3

Tagalog (Filipino) – Kung ikaw ay nagsasalita nang Tagalog, tumawag sa 1-800-369-1019 (TTY:1-800-537-7697) para makonek sa tagapagsalin na tutulong sa iyo sa dokumentong ito na walang bayad.

Pусский – Russian – Если вы говорите по- русски, наберите 1-800-368-1019. Для клиентов с ограниченными слуховыми и речевыми возможностями: 1-800-537-7697), и вас соединят с русскоговорящим переводчиком, который вам поможет с этим документом безвозмездно.

Here are some factsheets that help explain your rights to be free of discrimination:

Effective Communication for Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Safeguarding Civil Rights and Health Information Privacy

Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Know Your Rights Beneficiary Brochure

How to File a Discrimination Complaint

Know Your Rights Against Discrimination

Know the Rights that Protect Us from Discrimination Based on Race, Color, or National Origin

Know About the Federal Law that Protects Against Age Discrimination

Know the Rights that Protect Individuals with Disabilities from Discrimination Know the Rights that Protect Individuals with HIV and AIDS from Discrimination

Know Your Rights Under the Community Service Assurance Provisions of the Hill Burton Act


These same brochures are also available in a variety of languages:

中文 - Chinese

한국어 - Korean

Polski - Polish

Pусский - Russian

Español - Spanish

Tagalog (Filipino)

Tiếng Việt - Vietnamese


For more information, contact us at: 1-800-368-1019 Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Room 509F HHH Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20201