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Seton Hall Law

HIPAA: HIPAA Introduction

Guide to researching the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

HIPAA at a glance
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 
Text of the Act (PDF):  Public Law 104-191

US Code

The text of HIPAA can be found at  
  • 18 USCA §§ 24, 6691035134715183486
  • 26 USCA §§ 2204980C to 4980E6039F6050Q7702B9801 to 9806 
  • 29 USCA §§ 1181 to 1187
  • 42 USCA §§ 300gg300gg–11 to 300gg–13300gg–21 to 300gg–23300gg–41 to 300gg–47300gg–91300gg–921320a–7c to 1320a–7e1320d1320d–1 to 1320d–81395b–51395dd
Federal Regulations for HIPAA can be found at  45 C.F.R. §160 & 45 C.F.R. 164 (Also available on LIIBlawHeinOnline, Lexis Academic, ProQuest, and Westlaw)
  • Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule (Online
  • Summary of the HIPAA Security Rule (Online

Additional Information

The Administrative Simplification Compliance Act 
The Administrative Simplification provisions of HIPAA were passed to protect the privacy and security of health information, and encourage the use of standardized electronic transactions for efficiency. [4]
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
HITECH Act was passed to among other things apply many HIPAA provisions and rules to covered entities business associates and enhance enforcement provisions of HIPAA.  


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted on August 21, 1996 [1].  The goal of HIPAA was to guarantee the availability and renewability of health insurance coverage, and to limit restrictions due to preexisting conditions.  [2].   Because advances in electronic technology could jeapardize the privacy of health information, HIPAA also mandates security standards and safeguards, and privacy standards for the use of electronic health care information and for protected health information. [3].


  1. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936 (1996) (link)
  2. Hinda R. Chaikind ET AL., Cong. Research. Serv., RL 31634, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996: Overview and Guidance on Frequently Asked Questions (2005)  (link)
  3. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Health Research and the Privacy of Health Information: The HIPAA Privacy Rule; Nass SJ, Levit LA, Gostin LO, editors. Beyond the HIPAA Privacy Rule: Enhancing Privacy, Improving Health Through Research. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2009 (link)
  4. U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Serv., Ctr for Medicare & Medicaid Serv., HIPAA Security Series, Security 101 for Covered Entities (2007)(link)

Subject Guide

Suggested Keywords/Search Terms

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Health Privacy
Health Records Privacy
Health Information Privacy
Medical Records Privacy

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