It is true that the OCR Office of Civil Rights is increasing their enforcement efforts, however, the good news is that very few private practices are doing anything wrong. Protected Health Information Access Rule: The practice was following a state regulation that allowed for delivering only a summary of the records.
The information provided below is a summary and intended for general informational purposes. Mental health providers and other covered entities should not rely on this summary as a source of legal information or advice and should consult with their own Hippa privacy and violations or HIPAA Privacy Officer for specific guidance.
This document provides guidance about key elements of the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act HIPAAfederal legislation passed in which requires providers of health care including mental health care to ensure the privacy of patient records and health information.
The Rule is intended to provide strong legal protections to ensure the privacy of individual health information, without interfering with patient access to treatment, health care operations, or quality of care. Covered entities include almost all health and mental health care providers, whether they are outpatient, residential or inpatient providers, as well as other persons or organizations that bill or are paid for health care.
Basic Principles of the Privacy Rule: Generally, a covered entity may not use or disclose PHI to others, except: A covered entity must provide individuals or their personal representatives with access to their own PHI unless there are permitted grounds for denialand must provide an accounting of the disclosures of their PHI to others, upon their request.
The Privacy Rule supersedes State law, but State laws which provide greater privacy protections or which give individuals greater access to their own PHI remain in effect.
One must consult not only HIPAA but also other relevant federal privacy laws such as regulations pertaining to Medicaid and federally funded substance abuse treatment programsas well as State privacy laws including the Mental Hygiene Law- section Extensive provisions of the Privacy Rule describe circumstances under which covered entities are permitted to use or disclose PHIwithout the authorization of the individual who is the subject of the protected information.
These purposes include, but are not limited to, the following: A covered entity may disclose PHI to the individual who is the subject of the information.
Payment includes activities of a health care provider to obtain payment or to receive reimbursement for the provision of health care to an individual.
Health care operations include functions such as: Permission may be obtained from the individual who is the subject of the information or by circumstances that clearly indicate an individual with capacity has the opportunity to object to the disclosure but does not express an objection.
When an individual is incapacitated or in an emergency, providers sometimes may use or disclose PHIwithout authorization, when it is in the best interests of the individual, as determined by health care provider in the exercise of clinical judgment.
Providers generally may disclose PHI to State and Federal public health authorities to prevent or control disease, injury, or disability, and to government authorities authorized to receive reports of child abuse and neglect. Providers may disclose PHI to appropriate government authorities in limited circumstances regarding victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
Providers may disclose PHI to health oversight agencies, e. PHI may be disclosed in a judicial or administrative proceeding if the request is pursuant to a court order, subpoena, or other lawful process note that "more stringent" NYS Mental Hygiene law requires a court order for disclosure of mental health information in these circumstances.
Providers may generally disclose PHI to law enforcement when: The information sought must be relevant and limited to the inquiry. To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness or missing person Note: In response to a law enforcement request for information about a victim of a crime Note: Providers may disclose PHI that they believe necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent physical threat to a person or the public, when such disclosure is made to someone they believe can prevent or lessen the threat including the target of the threat.
A covered entity must make reasonable efforts to use, request, or disclose to others only the minimum amount of PHI which is needed to accomplish the intended purpose of the use, request or disclosure.
The minimum necessary standard does not apply under the following circumstances:The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of ”(ARRA) established a tiered civil penalty structure for HIPAA Violations and Enforcement. File your complaint electronically via the OCR Complaint Portal.
Filing a Patient Safety Confidentiality Complaint Read about the Patient Safety Confidentiality Act and how to file a . Access information about how to comply with HIPAA to ensure the privacy of each patient’s medical information. HIPAA Regulations The complete HIPAA Regulation text, including the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule, in an easy to read format.
Penalties associated with noncompliance. Covered entities may be in violation of HIPAA and be subject to civil fees if they release PHI to a parent of an emancipated minor. This is a summary of key elements of the Security Rule including who is covered, what information is protected, and what safeguards must be in place to ensure appropriate protection of electronic protected health information.