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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 (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....

Understanding the Privacy Rule's Amendments

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2002


By now you know that amendments to the final privacy rule were published in the August 14, 2002, Federal Register. The amendments are intended to correct problems identified in the original privacy rule published on December 28, 2000.


This article presents a summary of some of....

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....

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....

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....

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,....

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....

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....

Mind Your Business Associate Access: Six Steps

Author: Sullivan, Tori E.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2002


It's April 10, 2003, and a privacy officer is reviewing her policies for the imminent privacy regulations, title II of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. The compliance deadline is April 13, 2003, and she is already feeling stressed about meeting the date.....

Creating Privacy Rule Implementation Efficiency

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2002


Many HIM professionals will be called upon to perform an extraordinary feat during the next six months. They will be asked to bring one or more organizations into compliance with the HIPAA privacy rule by April 14, 2003. While this task is challenging in organizations that began such efforts a....

Privacy's Day in Court

Author: Gradle, Brian D.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2002


While HIM professionals work to implement HIPAA, courts across the nation continue to hear cases that could affect this work. Namely, these are cases related to state privacy laws.


HIPAA's "preemption" framework provides that state laws that are not contrary to HIPAA or that p....

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,....

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:....

Simple Steps to Tracking Disclosures

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2002


The many exceptions to the HIPAA privacy rule’s accounting of disclosures standard make it difficult to determine what must be tracked. Although the rule gives patients the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of their health information, it lists several exceptions. This article....

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....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Burrington-Brown, Jill

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 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 under HIPAA to....

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 (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....

Use of Language-Interpreter Consent Form

Author: Gore, Glennda

Source: AHIMA Foundation

Publication Date: January 08, 2002



In an effort to comply with the upcoming HIPAA confidentiality requirements, McAlester Regional Health Center has begun to review all policies and procedures concerning patient confidentiality and data security. During this process, the use of language interpreters was identified as one a....

Dilemma of Patient Health Record Security

Author: Demster, Barbara

Source: In Confidence (newsletter)

Publication Date: January 02, 2002


E-health privacy and security can be confusing and overwhelming issues when one is new to the world of technology and the Internet.
Many perceive the Internet as a clearly defined entity in a universe called cyberspace.We see “e-health” defined as Internet-related healthcare activities,....

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 (1/02)

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....

Managing Exceptions to HIPAA's Patient Access Rule

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2001




The HIPAA final privacy rule requires that covered entities allow individuals to access the medical and billing records maintained about them. However, the rule describes 10 exceptions. Accordingly, healthcare providers must establish a way to identify the medical and billing records....

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....

Testimony on Behalf of The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to the Privacy and Confidentiality Subcommittee of the National Committee of Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS)

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: AHIMA testimony and comments

Publication Date: August 22, 2001

August 22, 2001


Mr. Rothstein, members of the Privacy and Confidentiality Subcommittee, ladies and gentlemen - good morning!

I am Dan Rode, vice president for the AHIMA. On behalf of the Association, its more than 40,000 members, and myself, thank you for the opportunity....

AMA Ethical Force Initiative Announced

Author: Halpert, Aviva M.

Source: In Confidence (newsletter)

Publication Date: July 02, 2001


While the healthcare establishment waited with bated breath for the publication of the elusive HIPAA privacy regulations in December 2000, the American Medical Association (AMA) published one of the first installments of its Ethical Force Program (E-Force) privacy module.
The Ethical Fo....

Psychotherapy Notes under HIPAA

Author: Dougherty, Michelle

Source: In Confidence (newsletter) | AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: July 02, 2001


Q: I work in a non-psychiatric facility covered by HIPAA. On occasion, a patient may receive a psychological evaluation and possibly treatment for a short period of time. Our medical record does not include a copy of the psychotherapist’s “notes,” but a report that summarizes the psychologist....

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....

Release of Information: the Basics

Author: Yaggie, Elaine

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




Whether you're new to the HIM profession or a long-time expert, release of information presents perennial challenges-especially in light of HIPAA. This article brings you the basics and the latest updates.
Release of health information has been a hot topic for years. Today, more....

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....

From DNA to Data Privacy

Author: Fuller, Barbara P.; Jeffries, Jane

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2001




Genetic research is revolutionizing healthcare by predicting diseases and revealing cures. At the same time, the information presents new challenges to HIM professionals charged with keeping this vital data from the wrong hands. Here's a look at the role genetic information is playin....

Caught in the Camera's Eye: Filming and Patient's Consent

Author: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

Source: In Confidence (newsletter) | AHIMA Q and A

Publication Date: March 02, 2001


Q: Can staff of a healthcare organization, or their designated agent, film or videotape patient care activities in the Emergency Department? Does the staff have to get a patient’s consent to film or videotape their care while it is being provided?
A: Yes, to both questions. It is appropri....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2001


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

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

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

Cheryl Smith is an AHIMA practice....

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....

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....

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 (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....

Smart Cards May Make Security a Non-Issue

Author: Deike, Karen

Source: In Confidence (newsletter)

Publication Date: November 02, 2000


Smart cards have long held enormous potential for governments in managing healthcare information and delivering benefits to clients with more efficiency, less fraud, and greater customer satisfaction. But critical to gaining acceptance of the cards is the ability to assure clients that the in....

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