HIPPA is the privacy act as it pertains to medical information. Essentially no health care provider or insurance provider can share your private health care information with out your signing a release allowing them to do so. This includes doctors, clinics, pharmacies, hospitals or any other institution that may have your medical information. It protects the patients rights to privacy.
HIPAA is an abbreviation for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and it was passed by Congress in 1996. The HIPAA affects your health care by limiting the ability of a new employer plan to exclude coverage for preexisting conditions. It also helps prevent health care fraud and abuse. Get additional information from http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/yhphipaa.html.