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Data Security Compliance in IT Asset Disposition

Author: Adam, Chris

Source: AHIMA Convention

Publication Date: September 28, 2010


Introduction

Stories about the theft of confidential data have made headlines all too frequently over the past few years. This reality is forcing some businesses to face up to an inconvenient truth: Many organizations have no reliable procedures to ensure that the computers and rel....

Guiding Privacy Decisions in an e-HIM Environment

Author: AHIMA

Source: AHIMA Advantage

Publication Date: August 2007


Technology facilitates the collection, management, sharing, and storing of health information. Yet we must ensure privacy and security of health information in order to ensure better usage. HIM professionals can use our skills and knowledge to help achieve solid footing on this issue. Who is le....

Download Two Apps and Text Me in the Morning: Physicians are Increasingly Prescribing mHealth Apps, but Privacy and Security Worries Remain

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2014



While physicians are increasingly likely to pull out their prescription pad and say, in all earnestness, “There’s a new app for that,” recent research suggests the decision to do so is fraught. A survey of 1,500 physicians found that while 37 percent have prescribed an app, 42 percent ref....

Privacy Rights Never Die: And Sometimes Complications Linger On

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2011


The laws surrounding release of a deceased patient's records can lead to complex and frustrating situations in the HIM department. Just who has access rights depends on federal law, state law, and individual circumstances, illustrated by the two scenarios below.

Last summer the Office....

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....

Model Breach Notification Letter: Content and Format

Author: AHIMA

Source: AHIMA

Publication Date: August 24, 2009


High-level guidance outlining the content requirements for breach notification letters is provided in section 13402, "Notification in the Case of Breach," of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and state-level data breach notification and reporting laws in 44 states, the District of Colu....

Tips for Record Requests

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2012


If patients have never requested their medical records from their doctor or hospital before, the process can seem complicated. However, a few basic steps can help streamline the process:

Read online or call the facility's HIM department for information specific to your request. This....

Performing a Breach Risk Assessment - Retired

Author: AHIMA

Source: AHIMA practice brief | Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2013


On August 24, 2009, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published 45 CFR Parts 160 and 164 Breach Notification for Unsecured Protected Health Information; Interim Final Rule to implement the breach notification provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Cl....

Few Requests for Today’s Accountings

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2010


HIPAA’s Accounting of Disclosure Provisions Led to Few Patient Requests; Now ARRA Is Upping the Ante

Provisions within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act extend HIPAA’s accounting of disclosure regulations for providers who maintain electronic health records. The provisions a....

The Healthcare Wall of Shame

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2013


While stolen laptops and hacking of healthcare computer networks have dominated the headlines, healthcare privacy and security experts warn that covered entities are ignoring the risks posed by unsecured paper records.


In response to new additions to the Office for Civil Rights'....

Understanding the HIE Landscape

Author: AHIMA

Source: AHIMA practice brief

Publication Date: September 2010


The health information exchange (HIE) landscape has changed dramatically over the past five years. More HIEs are available to organizations and providers than ever before. Industry initiatives leveraging technological advances and the call for all Americans to have an electronic health record b....

Snap Judgment

Author: AHIMA Professional Ethics Committee

Source: Journal of AHIMA - website

Publication Date: April 01, 2010





Anyone who is a member of AHIMA or holds its credentials agrees to abide by its code of ethics.


The code sets forth professional values and ethical principles, and it offers guidelines to which professionals aspire. “Ethical behaviors result from a pe....

Journal Q&A (4/98)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: April 02, 1998


Q: I am trying to find out if AHIMA has any position on the names and room numbers of hospitalized patients being left unattended at an information desk in a hospital lobby. If just the name and room number—no other information such as age, religion, etc.—is listed so that vi....

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....

Journal Q&A (3/98)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: March 02, 1998


Q: Cellular phones are very popular and are a convenient way to increase communication. Should we place any restrictions on the use of cellular phones to discuss patient information?

A: Cellular phones operate on radio frequencies, which means anyone tuning into that f....

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....

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....

Journal Q&A (11/04)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: November 02, 2004


Q: As a covered entity, do I need to have satisfactory assurance (as required by HIPAA) that an individual has been notified when I am served with a search warrant for a patient's protected health information (PHI)?
A: No. A search warrant is issued by a judge and is considered the same a....

Journal Q&A (11/00)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: November 02, 2000

Q: How long is an authorization to release information valid?
A: For the most part, federal law does not specify a length of time for which authorizations to disclose information are valid. In Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records (42 CFR, Chapter I, Part 2), the....

Journal Q&A (9/03)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: September 02, 2003

Q: Under HIPAA, how should covered entities respond to requests from public health officials who state that they need protected health information (PHI) to carry out their duties?

A: The privacy rule recognizes that PHI may be needed to respond to threats to public health, including the....

Journal Q&A (5/98)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: May 02, 1998


Q: The facility that I work for is planning to use an outside copy service. How can we be sure it will protect our patient information?

A: Start by evaluating the potential companies to ensure that they are reputable and provide quality services. Next, ask the various ....

Journal Q&A (5/98)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: May 02, 1998


Q: I am currently employed by an organization that is implementing a long term care demonstration program for the frail elderly. I am in charge of the database for the demonstration. I'm writing policies and procedures for release of information and confidentiality and would like t....

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,....

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....

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:....

Journal Q&A (6/03)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: June 02, 2003

Q: What are a covered entity’s legal responsibilities when a former employee breaches confidentiality of information gained during his or her employment period?

A: Individual state laws would affect the outcome of litigation if charges were pressed through civil action. If the organ....

Journal Q&A (6/03)

Author: AHIMA Professional Practice Team

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: June 02, 2003

Q: Under the privacy rule, how should a physician’s office handle a request from parents for a written statement recommending limitation of their child’s activities at school?

A: Most covered entities have policies requiring written requests or authorizations for disclosure of....

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,....

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....

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....

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 (9/01)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: September 02, 2001

Q: My facility's records contain a variety of psychiatric documentation including therapists' notes from their treatment sessions with patients. How can I determine what requires special protection under HIPAA? Do I need to separate some of the documentation from the medical record? Currently all p....

Journal Q&A (6/00)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: June 02, 2000


Q: I work for a small physician practice. Until recently, physicians would take home patient records to dictate in the evening. Unfortunately, one of our physicians' cars was burglarized and 30 records were stolen. What should we do?
A: The loss of this information could cause problems....

Privacy or Convenience?

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2015


The tension between data privacy and consumers’ demand for their health information will become more strained in 2015, a new report predicts. As the number of privacy breaches in the healthcare sector has grown in recent years, so too has the desire of consumers to be one click away from....

Journal Q&A (1/01)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: January 01, 2001

Q: What form must a subpoena duces tecum take in order to be valid?

A: A subpoena duces tecum commands a person to produce certain documents or evidence in court. The form that the subpoena must take to be valid is a matter of state law, but generally, a subpoena must contain the following....

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....

Sample Consent Agreement

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA sample form

Publication Date: May 02, 2001




Consent to the Use and Disclosure of Health Information for Treatment, Payment, or Healthcare Operations


I understand that as part of my healthcare, this organization originates and maintains health records describing my health history, symptoms, examination and test....

Journal Q&A (1/01)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: January 01, 2001

Q: What is the difference between confidential and nonconfidential health information?

A: Health information can be classified into two categories: confidential and nonconfidential. Confidential information is obtained during the course of a confidential relationship between a patient and....

Journal Q&A (5/01)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: May 02, 2001

Q: Does the new HIPAA privacy rule require hospitals to obtain patient consent prior to sending copies of dictated reports and test results to the patient's physician?

A: Unless the HIPAA privacy rule published on December 28, 2000 (45 CFR Parts 160 through 164) is modified by the Bush ad....

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 (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 (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....

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 (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 (1/01)

Author: AHIMA Staff

Source: AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: January 01, 2001

Q: Can a healthcare facility release health information for marketing purposes?

A: There is a growing demand for and supply of health information for uses that are far removed from patient care or the payment process. It is imperative for a facility to establish a system of controls for id....

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