HIPAA Privacy Rule vs. Security Rule: Differences and Similarities

The subject of how to distinguish between the two HIPAA laws is among the most frequently asked ones. Although the Privacy and Security Rule complement one another, they are separate laws with separate objectives.

In this article we will discuss the key difference between both but if you want a detailed information about each then visit Netsec News.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule, or PHI, focuses on the individual’s rights and their capacity to manage their PHI, or protected health information, in short. It permits practises to use the data for treatment, payment, and other necessary purposes, but only for those purposes; all other uses of the data must be kept private. This guarantees that the data will be protected from disclosure by uninvited parties. The physical protection and confidentiality of PHI in all forms, including electronic, paper, and oral, are covered under the Privacy Rule.


On the other hand, the HIPAA Security Rule solely addresses the security of ePHI, or electronic PHI, when information is created, received, used, or preserved. To secure patient ePHI, covered entities must put in place sufficient physical, technical, and administrative measures. Locks and keys, alarms, passwords and access controls, computer backups, personnel training, and HIPAA regulations are a few examples. Remember that the Rule is adaptable and scalable, so what is suitable for one practise may not be suitable for another. The necessity to adopt all three precautions is what is rigid.

Although privacy and security have some conceptual overlap, HIPAA sees them as two entirely different concepts. By comparing these variations, nurse practitioners will be better prepared to comprehend HIPAA compliance in its entirety.

At a high level, security is concerned with the actual IT processes (such as passwords and encryption) put in place to preserve such data, whereas privacy is tied to the exposure of patient data. For instance, the privacy law specifies when it is permitted to transmit patient data, such as when coordinating care. The HIPAA security regulation outlines the rules that organisations subject to it must uphold to guarantee data protection.