Hipaa Essay

1186 words - 5 pages

Releasing Protected Health Information
Rebecca Bratcher

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act of 1996 or HIPAA, was put in place as an attempt to reform health care during the Clinton administration by making it possible for   workers, of any profession, to change jobs regardless if the worker, or any member of their family, have a pre-existing medical condition, decreasing paperwork which is associated with the processing of health claims, and by reducing health care abuse and fraud, and by assuring the privacy and security of health information. HIPAA’s standards for privacy of individually identifiable health information or privacy rule ...view middle of the document...

PHI (patient’s healthcare information) can be requested by several different agencies and representatives without or with the patients consent. PHI information can be identified by a patients name, telephone number, address, and Medicaid ID number, date of birth, name of employer or social security number. (Green & Bowie, 2005). 
However, there are many situations in which agencies or covered entities have the right or legal obligation to access or obtain PHI.   Some examples of instances where a government agency may disclose this private health information are (not limited to):
* for public health purposes such as investigations, surveillance, and interventions, PHI may be disclosed to public health authorities and their authorized agents 
  * PHI may be disclosed to report abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. 
  * Covered entities may, under specified conditions pursuant to a court order, subpoena, or other legal order discloses PHI to law enforcement. Disclosure information to the government typically do not require an individual authorization (Highmark 2007)
Medicaid, Medicare, veteran’s activities, national security and intelligence activities, presidential protective services do not require authorization, they must all receive protected information without the consent of the person. Government agencies including but not limited to the Bureau of disability determination and the department of Social Services have to receive the individual’s authorization prior to receiving his and her PHI (Green ad Bowie 2005)
Attorneys almost always have to obtain the individual’s authorization for the release of PHI. The exceptions could be if a health care provider’s attorney requests it and the information are released during normal business. Employers also have to get the authorization from the person but not in cases of work-related injuries or illness translation the reporting of them. The health care provider’s attorney is obligated to get the permission from the patient except for the care that comes directly from the care giver. The IRS, (or Internal revenue service) along with law enforcement agencies, has to receive consent from the patient for the disclosure of PHI. The patient or the person her represents them has to obtain permission as well to release PHI unless it is a situation where no permission is required by HIPPA. Most of the patients must give authorization if the information is needed by a third party except in the cases of treatment, payment and any health care operations.
Most of the providers allow medical professionals who are working on clinical research have access to the patients’ records. They may also exchange such information with other researchers. The activities have to be approved by the Institutional Review board so the PHI can be received by the research group without the patient’s authorization. That is if the researcher...

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