Are covered entities permitted to give individuals a “layered” notice?
Yes. Covered entities may use a “layered” notice to implement the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s requirements, so long as the elements required by 45 CFR 164.520(b) are included in the document that is provided to the individual. For example, a covered entity may satisfy the notice requirements by providing the individual with both a short notice that briefly summarizes the individual’s rights, as well as other information; and a longer notice, layered beneath the short notice, that contains all of the elements required by the Privacy Rule. Providing the notice in this fashion is a helpful tool to assure that more individuals will realize that important information is contained in the notice. In addition to ensuring the notice is in plain language (as required by the Privacy Rule), covered entities are encouraged to develop notices that maximize readability and clarity.