Crafting Your HIPAA-Compliant Privacy Policy and Terms of Use


For healthcare providers and organizations, having a robust online presence is essential in today’s digital age. However, this comes with the responsibility of ensuring that your website is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). A critical aspect of this compliance is having a clear privacy policy and terms of use that align with HIPAA regulations. This article will guide you through the essentials of drafting these important documents. Plus, we offer a link to a free privacy policy template to get you started.

Drafting a Clear Privacy Policy

A privacy policy is not just a legal requirement; it’s a cornerstone of patient trust. It should clearly articulate how patient information is collected, used, and protected.

  1. Outline Data Collection Practices: Clearly state what information is collected, including any Protected Health Information (PHI) and how it is gathered (e.g., through forms, cookies).
  2. Usage and Disclosure of Information: Explain how the collected information is used and under what circumstances it may be disclosed. This should align with HIPAA’s requirements for PHI handling [1].
  3. Security Measures: Describe the security measures in place to protect patient data, emphasizing compliance with HIPAA’s Security Rule [2].
  4. Patient Rights: Inform patients of their rights under HIPAA, such as the right to access their data, request amendments, and obtain an account of disclosures.

Including Terms of Use Addressing HIPAA

The terms of use (or terms of service) set the rules and guidelines for using your website. When it comes to HIPAA, they play a vital role in ensuring users understand their rights and responsibilities.

  1. HIPAA Compliance Statement: Include a statement affirming your commitment to HIPAA compliance and the protection of PHI.
  2. User Responsibilities: Outline user responsibilities, especially regarding the submission and handling of PHI.
  3. Limitations of Liability: Clearly state the limitations of liability concerning the use of your website and the information it provides.
  4. Amendment and Termination Clauses: Include clauses that address how and when the terms of use may be amended, and the conditions under which service may be terminated.


Your website’s privacy policy and terms of use are not just legal necessities; they are integral to building and maintaining trust with your patients. By drafting these documents with clarity and a focus on HIPAA compliance, you can ensure that your website not only adheres to legal standards but also respects and protects patient privacy. For a head start on creating your privacy policy, download our free template [Privacy Policy Template]. Please have your legal team review your privacy policy before publishing.


  1. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
  2. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). HIPAA Security Rule.