The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that protects the privacy and security of health information, helps people keep health insurance, and makes healthcare more efficient. Under HIPAA, you have rights pertaining to your health information, and there are limits restricting who can view your health information.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) oversee HIPAA, ensuring that your rights are upheld.

To report a HIPAA concern, please call 775-982-8300.



Why was HIPAA enacted?

  • To protect patients' rights regarding their health information, including the right to review it and make requests about how it is used and disclosed.
  • To ensure appropriate use and disclosure of patients' health information.
  • To require health care providers to implement safeguards to ensure privacy of patients' health information.

What kind of information does it protect?

  • Information that identifies - could be used to identify - a patient.
  • A patient's paper or electronic medical or health records.
  • Patient information exchanged verbally.
  • Information relating to the past, present or future physical or mental condition of an individual.
  • Research data that identifies individual patients.

How do I exercise my privacy rights?
In addition to the information above, you can contact the Department of Health and Human Services for requests to:

HIPAA and Privacy Policies Regarding Transgender Patients

  • When transgender patients present for health care, they will be addressed and referred to on the basis of their self-identified gender, using their pronouns and name in use, regardless of the patient’s appearance, surgical history, legal name, or sex assigned at birth. If the patient’s family members suggest that the patient is of a gender different from that with which the patient self-identifies, the patient’s view should be honored.
  • Hospital staff members will not use language or tone that a reasonable person would consider to demean, question, or invalidate a patient’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression.
  • Hospital staff members will not ask questions or make statements about a transgender person’s genitalia, breasts, other physical characteristics, or surgical status except for professional reasons that can be clearly articulated. Information about a patient’s transgender status or any transition-related services that the patient is seeking and or has obtained is sensitive medical information and hospital staff members will treat it as such.
  • A transgender patient’s pronouns should be determined as follows:
    • If the patient’s gender presentation clearly indicates to a reasonable person the gender with which the patient wishes to be identified, the hospital staff member should refer to the patient using pronouns appropriate to that gender.
    • If the hospital staff member determines the patient’s pronouns on the basis of the patient’s gender presentation, but is then corrected by the patient, the staff member should then use the pronouns associated with the gender identity verbally expressed by the patient.
    • If the patient’s gender presentation does not clearly indicate the patient’s gender identity, the hospital staff member should discreetly and politely ask the patient for the pronouns the patient uses.
  • A patient should not be asked about transgender status, sex assigned at birth, or transition-related procedures unless such information is directly relevant to the patient’s care. If it is necessary to the patient’s care for a health care provider to inquire about such information, the provider should explain to the patient: 1) why the requested information is relevant to the patient’s care, 2) that the information will be kept confidential but some disclosures of the information may be permitted or required and 3) that the patient should consult the hospital’s HIPAA policy for details concerning permitted disclosures of patient information.
  • Every physician, Renown Health employee and contractor who uses, discloses, or requests patient information, including information regarding a patient’s gender identity or expression, transgender status, or other demographic data, on behalf of Renown Health, shall make reasonable efforts to limit disclosure of and requests for protected health information to any person not directly involved in the treatment of a particular patient to the minimum necessary to accomplish the authorized purpose of the use, disclosure, or request, in accordance with applicable federal law and regulations, including minimizing incidental disclosures. Procedures appropriate for implementing this policy vary based on the intended purpose of the use, disclosure, or request, as provided elsewhere in this HIPAA Privacy Procedure Manual.
  • Renown Health with ensure that every physician, Renown Health employee and contractor will have access to protected health information only to the minimum extent necessary and relevant to perform his or her specific job functions, as described in this HIPAA Privacy Procedure Manual.