The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule was passed to protect the privacy of individually identifiable health information.

The rule allows the disclosure of personal health information needed for patient care and other important purposes, but a central aspect of the rule is the principle of “minimum necessary” use and disclosure.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website, “A covered entity must make reasonable efforts to use, disclose, and request only the minimum amount of protected health information needed to accomplish the intended purpose of the use, disclosure, or request.

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