HIPAA Information

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed by Congress in 1996 to insure the portability of insurance coverage as employees moved from job to job; to increase accountability and decrease fraud and abuse in health care; and to improve the efficiency of the health care payment process, while at the same time protecting a patient’s privacy.

UA as a “hybrid entity”

Since the primary function of The University is not to provide health care, UA is permitted to designate itself as a “hybrid entity,” which allows it to apply the Privacy Rule only to those parts of UA that, if standing alone, would be a Covered Entity. As a hybrid entity, UA must designate its “health care components,” which includes departments that provide support for health care components.

HIPAA applies to “Covered Entities,” defined by the Privacy Rule as

  • a health care provider that conducts certain transactions in electronic form,
  • a health care clearinghouse,
  • a health plan, or
  • a business associate (person or organization performing a function on behalf of the CE for which access to protected health information is needed.

Because the University of Alabama has at least one department that provides health care services and electronically transmits health information, it is considered a Covered Entity.

Health Care Components at the University of Alabama are:

  • The Brewer Porch Children’s Center
  • The University Medical Center
  • The Speech & Hearing Clinic
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic
  • Departments that have signed Business Associated Agreements
  • Group Health Insurance/Flexible Spending Plan/Wellbama Program
  • UA Administrative Departments supporting the entities above (e.g. Legal Office, Auditing, Financial Affairs, Risk Management, OIT, UA Privacy/Security Officers, etc.)
  • Research involving PHI from a HIPAA-covered entity
  • DOES NOT APPLY TO: Psychology Clinic, Student Health Center/Pharmacy, ODS records, Counseling Center, WRC, Athletic Department health records

Helpful Links



The University of Alabama’s Privacy Officer – Jan Chaisson

The University of Alabama’s HIPAA Security Officer – Ashley Ewing

Medical Center Privacy Officer – Jan Chaisson

Medical Center Security Officer – Amy Sherwood

Brewer Porch Privacy/Security Officer – Warren Williams

Speech and Hearing Privacy/Security Officer – Becca Brooks

Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic Privacy/Security Officer – Sarah Ryan

UA Group Health Plan/FSA Privacy Officer – Emily Marbutt

UA Group Health Plan/FSA Security Officer – Greg Gaddis

WellBAMA Program Privacy/Security Officer – Heather Clayton

Working on Womanhood Program (WOW) Privacy/Security Officer – Jill Beck

Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) Privacy/Security Officer – Vaughn Poe

Institutional Review Board Compliance Officer – Tanta Myles

College of Education Alabama Medicaid Agency Project Privacy/Security Officer – Rick Houser

Print this Page