Privacy, HIPAA and confidentiality are pretty easy to understand, right? My response would be a resolute, "Yes and No!" If you are inclined to want to know more about this topic, here are some resources.
The Health and Human Services Department's HIPPA Information Page
A specific overview of HIPAA privacy issues (in .pdf)
The UW Bioethics page about confidentiality
Update: I added this late required reading from the Iserson Ethics in the ER text to help us all hit the ground running on Wednesday. It is temporarily viewable on my personal webpage until we can get it on the secure class page.