Healthcare - HIPAA Healthcare Information Privacy Term Paper

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Healthcare - HIPAA


HIPAA and Patient Access to Medical Records:

The Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability (HIPAA) Act of 1996 took effect in April 2001 with compliance required as of April 2003, on the part of all covered healthcare entities. The HIPAA privacy requirements pertain to most forms of patient medical information, designating it as protected health information (PHI). Pursuant to HIPAA rules, healthcare entities may not disclose PHI except for certain limited purposes without the written consent and authorization by the patient to whom that information pertains (DHHSOCR 2003).

Healthcare entities may disclose PHI to the patient him or herself after a formal written request from the patient identifying the specific information requested. Patient requests for a few specific types of PHI may be refused by the healthcare entity, such as psychotherapy notes as well as information considered to be potentially harmful to the patient or to other individuals. In that case, the patient has the right to have the denied request reviewed for a second opinion from a licensed healthcare professional (Thacker 2003).

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Patients also have the right to be represented by authorized third parties designated by them as a "personal representatives" for the purpose of making medical decisions for the individual or act in other ways on behalf of a decedent or the decedent's estate (DHHSOCR 2003). Generally, parents of minor children are automatically designated personal representatives of their children for HIPAA privacy compliance purposes. The right of access to PHI by personal representatives is subject to refusal by the healthcare entity only in cases of reasonable belief that the personal representative is abusing, neglecting, or otherwise endangering the welfare of the patient (Thacker 2003).

Non-healthcare Use of Medical Information:

Term Paper on Healthcare - HIPAA Healthcare Information Privacy Under Assignment

Certain types of PHI disclosures for reasons not related to that patient's immediate medical care are not subject to the general HIPAA rules of nondisclosure without patient authorization. The disclosure of PHI is allowed where required by federal, state, local, or tribal laws; to public health officials for public health purposes; for certain types of permitted research; to report abuse, neglect, or domestic violence; to law enforcement entities for the purposes of criminal investigation or pursuant to court order or subpoena; and in connection with certain types of formal judicial, or administrative proceedings (Thacker 2003).

Also exempt from the general HIPAA privacy rules requiring patient authorization for disclosure is PHI furnished to organ procurement entities, for the purpose of tissue donation or to facilitate transplants; for certain authorized oversight purposes; in conjunction with worker's compensation program administration or claims; for the purposes of administrating a deceased patient's funeral and estate; in connection with investigation and mitigation of serious threats against the patient, other individuals, or to public safety; and as necessary for certain elements of essential government functions and administration, such as determining employment suitability within the U.S. State Department, to protect the President, to accomplish or protect the security of military operations, to protect inmates and employees of correctional facilities, and in connection with determinations of federal program eligibility (Thacker 2003)).

Formal Privacy Policy Requirements:

The HIPAA privacy rules requires healthcare entities to develop and implement specific privacy policies sufficient to ensure the reasonable safety, security, and privacy of all PHI used or maintained by of for healthcare entities that are consistent with the HIPAA Privacy… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Healthcare - HIPAA Healthcare Information Privacy" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Healthcare - HIPAA Healthcare Information Privacy.  (2008, June 24).  Retrieved March 31, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Healthcare - HIPAA Healthcare Information Privacy."  24 June 2008.  Web.  31 March 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Healthcare - HIPAA Healthcare Information Privacy."  June 24, 2008.  Accessed March 31, 2020.