Chapter 12: Access, Use, and Disclosure/Release of Health Information Background Protecting the privacy and confidentiality of health information is a major priority for healthcare providers. It is essential that federal and state laws are followed, statutes are enforced, and policies and procedures are developed to ensure that patients’ rights are protected. This chapter discusses the many practical situations that exist regarding the access, use, and disclosure of patient information with or without patient authorization. The chapter discusses the issues of health information ownership and one’s right to access one’s health information as a competent adult, incompetent adult, or minor. The chapter continues with an overview of workforce members who have access rights to patient information and for what reason. Issues surrounding handling highly sensitive information related to behavioral healthcare, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, genetic information, and adoption and how these issues relate to the HIPAA Privacy Rule are discussed. In addition, a number of special access, request, and disclosure situations are discussed along with comments related to managing these situations. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the practical aspects of managing the process of releasing health information. Chapter Outline Learning Objectives Key Terms Introduction I. Ownership and Control of the Health Record and Health Information II. Access to Patient Health Information A. Competent Adult B. Incompetent Adult C. Minors 1. Parental Authorization Required 2. Parental Authorization Not Required 3. Access and Authorization Rights of Noncustodial Parents and Others 4. Minors in Foster Care or Allegedly Abused D. Employer, Employee, and Other Members of the Workforce 1. Employers 2. Employees 3. Physicians 4. Students 5. Attorneys 6. Vendors III. Highly Sensitive Health Information A. Behavioral (Mental) Health Information B. Substance Abuse Records
1. Authorization for Disclosure (Release) of Information from Substance Abuse Facilities 2. Permissible Disclosures under Federal Drug and Alcohol Regulations C. HIV/AIDS, STDs, and Other Communicable Disease Information 1. Confidentiality Protections for HIV/AIDS D. Genetic Information E. Adoption Information 1. Release of Information to Adopted Persons IV. Special Access, Request, and Disclosure Situations A. Disclosure of Active Records of Currently Hospitalized or Ambulatory Care Patients B. Deceased Patients C. Disclosure of Information for Autopsy D. Open Records, Public Records, or Freedom of Information Laws E. Employee Health or Occupational Safety and Health Records F. Antiterrorism Initiatives G. Consumer Reporting Agencies H. Duty to Warn I. Laboratory Test Results J. Payment Requests from Insurance Companies and Government Agencies K. Medical Emergencies L. Public Figures or Celebrities M.
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- Spring '17
- Julie Wulf-Plimpton
- Health care provider, Electronic health record, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Personal health record