Do health coaches have to follow HIPAA?

by | Jul 13, 2020 | Podcasts

Most health coaches and holistic practitioners I’ve met are confused about one key legal area… HIPAA – the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

(If you don’t know HIPAA, basically, it’s a federal law that protects the exchange, privacy and security of medical information.)

Are you as a non-licensed practitioner required to follow HIPAA policies about the confidentiality of client information and records?

Do you need to use HIPAA-compliant websites and online platforms?

Are you legally required to keep client information like client notes or lab test results safe?

Legal Love Tip: 

Generally speaking, health coaches and non-licensed practitioners don’t have to follow HIPAA (but there are exceptions).



I devoted a podcast episode to whether health coaches need to follow HIPAA (don’t worry – it’s short – less than 20 minutes) and to explain the exceptions.

In that previously-aired episode, I share what a health coach client who I’ll call Evelyn (of course, that’s not her real name) asked me.

I knew from the second I heard Evelyn’s voice on the phone and she introduced herself that Evelyn is someone who likes to do things right.

She reached out to me because she wanted to conduct her health coach business properly and follow the law because she prides herself on being a responsible business owner.

She also wanted to know how to be respectful to her clients about their privacy and not do anything wrong or get in trouble.

You can listen to learn more about Evelyn and how HIPAA may apply to her (and you!) in Legally Enlightened Podcast Episode 80 called “Does HIPAA Apply To Health Coaches?” on iTunes HERE.

Don’t have iTunes? You can listen on my website HERE.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What HIPAA is and who must follow HIPAA
  • What happens when a client shares medical information with a health coach
  • What exception to the HIPAA law might apply to you
  • Who’s considered a “business associate” according to HIPAA
  • 4 Ways to keep client information confidential as a health coach, including when you can’t disclose names or details about your clients
  • Why you want to make sure your website has a Privacy Policy

Have a listen so you can feel more clear and confident around confidentiality for your clients and understand the situations when HIPAA might apply to you so you don’t mess up and do something wrong.

Here’s to getting legally enlightened around HIPAA and client privacy!