START. to begin…. Click. Privacy Patient Right to Object to Disclosures (“Opt Out”). Introduction.
Patients of UNC Health Care have the right to object to certain uses and disclosures of their Protected Health Information (PHI). This module will explain the process for responding to a patient’s request to object to disclosures (or “opt out”).
UNC Health Care will obtain a General Consent for Treatment from all patients which also includes:
The NPP is a summary of the privacy policies and procedures of UNC Health Care which informs patients of their rights and UNC Health Care’s requirements for the privacy of PHI.
Mr. Presley comes to a clinic and he is provided a packet of information which includes the NPP. He is asked to read and sign the General Consent for Treatment form. He returns the form to Sandra, a Clinical Business Associate, who reviews it to verify the information is complete. Pointing to the NPP acknowledgement area of the form, she asks him, “Mr. Presley, would you also please sign here saying that you have read the NPP?”
Is Sandra’s request appropriate?
No. Signing the acknowledgement only states that the patient has RECEIVED the NPP, not read or understood it. Sandra should only ask Mr. Presley to acknowledge that he was given an NPP with his check-in packet.
UNC Health Care maintains a list of patients currently in the hospital. This allows us to provide the following information to those who ask for the patient by name. Unless the patient opts out, we can provide:
Unless the patient opts out, the patient’s location and religious affiliation are included in a clergy list shared with community clergy (not employed by UNC Health Care) upon request. UNC Health Care Pastoral Care staff will also have access to this information.
If the patient decides to alter these objections, he/she will complete a new General Consent for Treatment form which will be filed in the medical record and the revisions entered in the registration system.
If a patient “opts out” of the patient list:
Please refer to the UNC Health Care Privacy/Security Reference Sheet on the UNC Health Care HIPAA web site for additional information regarding the “opt out” flags.
If the caller or visitor is still not satisfied, the staff should contact their department manager/director for assistance. The department manager/director may choose to contact the patient to alert them to the situation.
Unless the patient objects, limited PHI may be shared with family, friends and/or representatives of the patient:
When Mrs. Jackson is admitted, she signs a General Consent for Treatment Form and does not choose to “opt out” of any areas. She calls her nurse into her room very upset because she just received a phone call from someone she did not want to know she was in the hospital. The patient says they received information from the front desk.
Should this person’s information have been disclosed?
Could anything have been done differently?
Because Mrs. Jackson did not choose to “opt out” of the patient directory, callers inquiring about her by name would receive confirmation of her admission and general information about her condition.
The only thing that might have been done differently is a better explanation upon check-in of these opt outs so that the patients may make the appropriate choices to suit their desires.
You have now successfully completed the online Privacy Patient Right to Object Module
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