Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Educational Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Lyndon Furst

Second Advisor

Shirley Freed

Third Advisor

Karen Allen



As healthcare entities continue to focus on HIPAA compliance, they must enforce policies that require patients to sign and express understanding of the organization’s privacy policies. It appears the patient’s perspective on healthcare privacy has not been considered within the HIPAA privacy ruling. Patients are healthcare consumers, yet little research has been done on assessing the individual consumer’s perspective on what Protected Health Information (PHI) is actually important to protect and from whom it is important to protect it.


A quantitative survey was developed and distributed to the participants of the Carnegie group, an independent insurance firm in Chicago, Illinois. Inferential and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the differences and interactions among the participants based on 4 independent variables and 17 selected dependent variables.


The analysis showed that of the 17 PHI indicators, only 5 of them were identified as being important to protect from healthcare providers. A One-Way Analysis of Variance was used to test for significant differences among the age and gender groups for each PHI indicator.

Analysis of the data on age showed the desire for privacy each respondent gave, and the data showed significance for the age group 31-45. This group desired more privacy than any other group. The age group 18-30 scored the lowest on privacy concerns for each PHI. Gender differences showed males desire more privacy than females. The analysis on financial commitment given by the patient for each PHI showed no respondents placed a high dollar value on protecting the PHI indicators. Two-Way Analysis of Variance was used to determine the main effect and interaction effect of age and authority on access of health information. The findings showed that the more authority granted to a doctor, the more likely a participant was willing to give healthcare information.


Overall, patients put little value in protecting the defined PHI as defined by the HIPAA privacy ruling from healthcare providers and are not willing to pay for privacy protection. Patients practice transparency with healthcare providers for much of the PHI, and only 5 PHI indicators were considered important enough to limit access by healthcare providers.

Subject Area

Privacy, Right of; Patients--Civil rights; Health insurance--Law and legislation; Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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