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With the COVID-19 pandemic demands for Personal Health Information (PHI) from law enforcement, the press, politicians and the public are increasing. While there may be good reasons behind many of these demands, healthcare providers must be mindful of the requirements of HIPAA.
As Catie Heindel of Strategic Management and Ashley Huntington of Cook County Health explain in this podcast, it is permissible under HIPAA to make a disclosure for the purposes of preventing or lessening serious or imminent threats to health and safety.
However, it can be a complex issue, and it’s important to check for the latest bulletins from the HHS Office of Civil Rights. In addition, it’s important to remember that HIPAA provides a floor. There are various state privacy requirements that must be heeded, as well.
But just having that expertise in the compliance department is not enough. Front line personnel need to have the expertise either to make decisions or know whom to turn to when facing an information request. That’s why they recommend a multi-disciplinary approach to developing privacy policies, tools such as a quick guide, and a plan for who decides what information is and isn’t disclosed.
Listen in to learn more about how to handle requests for patient information in the time of pandemic.
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