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Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule limit an individual’s ability to gather and share family medical history information?

Answer:

No. The HIPAA Privacy Rule may limit how a covered entity (for example, a health plan or most health care providers) uses or discloses individually identifiable health information, but does not prevent individuals, themselves, from gathering medical information about their family members or from deciding to share this information with family members or others, including their health care providers. Thus, individuals are free to provide their doctors with a complete family medical history or communicate with their doctors about conditions that run in the family.

 

Created 1/13/09