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Protected Health Information

You have been invited to do a presentation to the laboratory department regarding Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance and electronic health records. Discuss the salient points of your presentation and why you feel it is important to include this information in your presentation.

Include the following information:

+ Why is it important?
+ Define protected health information and when it can be disclosed.
+ Differentiate between the privacy rule and the security rule as it applies to actual use in the laboratory.
+ Differentiate between identifiable and unidentified information and their uses.

Solution Preview

+ Why is it Important?

We all want our privacy protected as patients, and HIPPA requires us to protect a person's privacy. Also someone who does not protect a patient's privacy could lose his or her job, pay fines or even go to jail. Fines are $50,000 to $250,000, and jail terms are up to ten years (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 2013).

+ Define protected health information and when it can be disclosed.

The NHI (2004) says that protected health information (PHI) refers to individually identifiable health information, such as names, social security numbers, addresses, and birth dates. This information can relate to a person's past, present or future physical or mental health condition, the delivery of health care services to the individual in the past, present, or future, and payment provisions for the patient.
PHI may be disclosed:
- To the individual.
- To carry out treatment, payment, and health care operations (TPO).
- When data is de-identified.

Additionally:
Information can be disclosed without patient authorization to public health authorities and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). It may also be released to law enforcement officials, the medical examiner or coroner after someone has died, and other instances as authorized by state or federal law.

+ Differentiate ...

Solution Summary

Why the protected health information is important. The defined protected health information is determined. The expert differentiates between the privacy rules and the security rule as it applies to actual use in the laboratory.

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