Office of Newborn Screening

About Us – Patient Privacy and HIPAA

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) became Federal law in April of 2003. Its goal is to "provide patients with access to their medical records and more control over how their personal health information is used and disclosed." ¹

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is considered to be a "public health authority" as defined in the act and as such is granted access to protected health information (PHI) when necessary to prevent or control disease or where required by law (federal, tribal, state or local).

Each employee at ADHS is trained in HIPAA policies and procedures and any information obtained will be kept confidential.

As part of a HIPAA-exempt public health entity, Newborn Screening is able to lawfully receive or disclose confidential information used in the follow-up process without obtaining consent from parents.

Photocopies of the HIPAA exemption may be sent to you as explanation. Please see the Code of Federal Regulations or contact the Program with any questions.

Refer to the CDC Privacy Rule Guidance for further discussion of public health disclosures.

¹ Source DHHS, available at