The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 legislation were intended to reform health care in the United States. Since then several modifications have been added to the Act for strengthening patient privacy and better management of health information. The HIPAA Omnibus Final rule was implemented on 17th of January, 2013 and was effective on March 26, 2013 with compliance deadline set at September 23, 2013. The final HIPAA rule will provide improved standards for privacy protections and security safeguards for consumer health data; however, HIPAA rules may impede the conduct of important health research. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends implementation of the Privacy rule with its intent to protect privacy while permitting continuation of authorized public health activities. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief outline of HIPAA, an overview of the HIPAA Omnibus Final rule and its impact on public health.