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Dilemma of Patient Health Record Security

Author: Demster, Barbara

Source: In Confidence (newsletter)

Publication Date: January 02, 2002


E-health privacy and security can be confusing and overwhelming issues when one is new to the world of technology and the Internet.
Many perceive the Internet as a clearly defined entity in a universe called cyberspace.We see “e-health” defined as Internet-related healthcare activities,....

Journal Q&A (1/02)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: January 02, 2002


Q: A couple were on vacation in my city when the husband suddenly became ill and died in our facility. The wife requested copies of the record to take home with her. She had listed herself as next of kin. Was it correct to give her a copy of the record?


A: The answer to this qu....

Journal Q&A (1/02)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: January 02, 2002


Q: Our fiscal intermediary (FI) has recently informed us that we are obligated to notify them whenever an attorney requests a record of a Medicare patient. Is that true?


A: It appears to be true. The Medicare Intermediary Manual states:


Provider Receives Reques....

Use of Language-Interpreter Consent Form

Author: Gore, Glennda

Source: AHIMA Foundation

Publication Date: January 08, 2002



In an effort to comply with the upcoming HIPAA confidentiality requirements, McAlester Regional Health Center has begun to review all policies and procedures concerning patient confidentiality and data security. During this process, the use of language interpreters was identified as one a....

Journal Q&A (3/02)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: March 02, 2002

Q: Does the individual to whom a patient has granted durable power of attorney for financial matters have the right to access and authorize use or disclosure of the patient’s protected health information (PHI) under HIPAA?


A: An individual granted durable power of attorney for....

Journal Q&A (5/02)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: May 02, 2002

Q: In light of HIPAA restrictions on protected health information, I’m concerned about our HIM department’s practice of accepting HIM students for professional practice experience. What should be considered in deciding whether to continue this practice?


A: HIPAA’s pr....

Journal Q&A (6/02)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: June 02, 2002

Q: Our facility is developing our notice of privacy practices under HIPAA. We need to decide how we will communicate with individuals when we make changes to our notice. What are the acceptable methods for communicating with our patient population? Do we have to send a paper copy to everyone whose....

Journal Q&A (7/02)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: July 02, 2002


Q: I have requested the immunization records from a patient’s former healthcare provider with the patient’s written permission. The former healthcare provider refuses to send the immunization records because the patient has a balance on the account. Is this legal?


A:....

Simple Steps to Tracking Disclosures

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2002


The many exceptions to the HIPAA privacy rule’s accounting of disclosures standard make it difficult to determine what must be tracked. Although the rule gives patients the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of their health information, it lists several exceptions. This article....

Journal Q&A (7/02)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: July 02, 2002


Q: I work in a clinic setting. An attorney has requested copies of a patient’s entire record. The record includes reports dictated by one of the clinic physicians at a local hospital during the patient’s hospitalization. The attorney has the patient’s permission. Are we allowed....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Burrington-Brown, Jill

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2002


Q: I work in a clinic setting. An attorney has requested copies of a patient's entire record. The record includes reports dictated by one of the clinic physicians at a local hospital during the patient's hospitalization. The attorney has the patient's permission. Are we allowed under HIPAA to....

Privacy's Day in Court

Author: Gradle, Brian D.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2002


While HIM professionals work to implement HIPAA, courts across the nation continue to hear cases that could affect this work. Namely, these are cases related to state privacy laws.


HIPAA's "preemption" framework provides that state laws that are not contrary to HIPAA or that p....

Journal Q&A (9/02)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: September 02, 2002


Q: A developmentally disabled adult was recently admitted to our hospital. The patient was accompanied by his older sister. The sister indicated her brother could not write but that he could draw an "X." Because the patient doesn't have a court-appointed guardian and his parents are deceased,....

Mind Your Business Associate Access: Six Steps

Author: Sullivan, Tori E.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2002


It's April 10, 2003, and a privacy officer is reviewing her policies for the imminent privacy regulations, title II of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. The compliance deadline is April 13, 2003, and she is already feeling stressed about meeting the date.....

Creating Privacy Rule Implementation Efficiency

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2002


Many HIM professionals will be called upon to perform an extraordinary feat during the next six months. They will be asked to bring one or more organizations into compliance with the HIPAA privacy rule by April 14, 2003. While this task is challenging in organizations that began such efforts a....

Web FAQ

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: October 2002

Because HIPAA gives patients the right to copy their medical records, does my facility have to supply a copy machine for this purpose or allow patients to take their records to a copy center?
According to section 164.520 of the HIPAA final privacy rule, an individual has "the right to inspect....

Frequently Asked Questions: Confidentiality

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: October 2002


How and Where Can I Obtain Copies of My State's Disclosure Laws?

My Physician Passed Away, and I'd Like to Know Where I Can Locate the Medical Records Originated at His/Her Office.

I Need to Locate Immunization Records for College and Am Unable to Locate My Physician. Wh....

Web FAQ

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: October 2002

Who can authorize the release of patient health information on behalf of a deceased patient?
The individual authorized to consent to the release of patient health information on behalf of a deceased patient varies by state.
Usually, the personal representative of a deceased patient (execu....

Web FAQ

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: October 2002


If the deceased patient had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as HIV, are the standards for release of information more rigid?
The release of patient records containing evidence of sexually transmitted disease is governed by state law. In the absence of state law to the contrary,....

Web FAQ

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: October 2002


Is the authority to consent to the disclosure of patient information different when it identifies the deceased as an alcohol or drug abuser?
The Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulation (42 CFR 2) applies to patient drug or alcohol abuse information obtained by....

Web FAQ

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: October 2002

How should we handle requests for birth information by adoptees?
Adoption is a statutory procedure governed entirely by state law.1 Although birth records are sealed, most states allow adoptees to get information about their birth parents but prohibit access to data that could be used to ident....

Understanding the Privacy Rule's Amendments

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2002


By now you know that amendments to the final privacy rule were published in the August 14, 2002, Federal Register. The amendments are intended to correct problems identified in the original privacy rule published on December 28, 2000.


This article presents a summary of some of....

Journal Q&A (1/03)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: January 02, 2003

Q: When is it legal to disclose protected health information (PHI) to clergy?


A: If the individual is informed in advance of the possible disclosure and has the opportunity to object, the HIPAA privacy rule allows a covered entity to disclose directory information to clergy. Directo....

Journal Q&A (1/03)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: January 02, 2003

Q: Is faxing patient information legal under HIPAA?
A: If the covered entity is permitted to release the information (for treatment purposes or by authorization, for example), then using a fax machine is allowed. The privacy rule requires the entity to provide appropriate administrative, techn....

Journal Q&A (1/03)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: January 02, 2003

Q: Does HIPAA allow clinicians in our home health facility to pull their own records?
A: Your facility must make a reasonable effort to limit the access of your clinicians to the PHI they need to perform their duties. You will have to determine what policies are reasonable. As employees, the c....

Sample Policy: Protecting Patient Privacy from Outside Callers

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2003


Background: It is customary for family members, legal guardians, and friends of patients at [name of hospital] to telephone the hospital, inquire in person about the condition of a patient, or to request other health information. Privacy regulations require that a patient’s identity or oth....

Protecting Verbal PHI: a Plan

Author: Birnbaum, Cassi L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2003


Does your organization have a policy in place for protecting patient health information (PHI) over the phone?


This article will discuss how a workgroup at Children’s Hospital and Health Center (CHHC) in San Diego, CA, implemented a policy to protect verbal PHI and how your....

Staff Discovery Tools

Author:

Source: AHIMA web extra

Publication Date: February 02, 2003


Use one of the two approaches below to involve and educate staff on privacy issues. The second method uses a more structured approach.
1. Protected health information (PHI) is confidential information that includes a patient's identity and medical information. Identify instances where PHI....

Computer Recycling: Are you Legally Prepared

Author: Harford, Joseph P.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2003


None of these methods of disposal address healthcare organizations’ environmental or legal responsibilities. But how do you know if your organization is legally positioned to handle disposal of computer equipment? This article will address these concerns.

What Is Legal?
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