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Clarification of the Privacy Rule’s protections for personal health information, and permitted disclosures needed for patient care and other important purposes.
Physicians and Staff may earn one compliance credit by viewing this slide show, completing the Assessment (Quiz), and faxing the assessment to the University Privacy and Contracting Office: 504-988-7777
This presentation may be viewed for compliance credit only once in a fiscal year
(July 1 - June 30).
To check how many compliance credits you have and to see which training sessions you have completed, contact the University Privacy and Contracting Office at
HIPAA does not require patients to sign consent forms before doctors, hospitals, or ambulances can share information for treatment purposes:
the Privacy Rule permits a covered entity (e.g., physician) to use and disclose protected health information, with certain limits and protections, in order to treat the patient.
of health care and related services among health care providers, or with a third party, consultation between health care providers regarding a patient, or the referral of a patient from one health care provider to another.
Consent: A covered entity may choose, but is not required, to obtain a patient’s consent for it to use and disclose information about him or her for treatment.
Doctors and other providers covered by HIPAA may share needed information with family, friends, or anyone else a patient identifies as involved in his care as long as the patient does not object.Unless a patient objects, doctors, hospitals and other providers may disclose information when needed to notify a family member, or anyone responsible for the patient’s care, about the patient’s location or general condition.
Even when the patient is incapacitated, a provider may share appropriate information for these purposes if he believes that doing so is in the best interest of the patient.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule specifically permits covered entities to share information that is directly relevant to the involvement of a spouse, family members, friends, or other persons identified by a patient, in the patient’s care.
If the patient is present, or is otherwise available prior to the disclosure, and has the capacity to make health care decisions, the covered entity may discuss this information with the family and other persons if the patient agrees, or, when given the opportunity, does not object.
The covered entity may also share relevant information with the family and these other persons if it can reasonable infer, based on professional judgment, that the patient does not object.
Even when the patient is not present, or it is impracticable due to emergency circumstances to ask the patient about discussing his care with a family member or another person, a covered entity may share this information with the person when, in exercising professional judgment, it determines that doing so would be in the patient’s best interest.
The Privacy Rule permits covered entities to disclose PHI, without authorization, to Public Health personnel who are legally authorized to receive such reports for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.