HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This federal standard addresses a healthcare provider’s role of responsibility for managing access to and sharing of Protected Health Information. Each resident that is admitted to this facility has the right to have all protected health information safeguarded from misuse or unnecessary disclosure.
Definitions: Any information, whether written or verbal, in any form or medium that is created or received by a covered entity; and relates to the past, present or future or mental health condition of an individual; the provision of healthcare to an individual; or the past, present or future payment for the provision of healthcare to an individual.
Individually Identifiable Health Information (IHI) is information that is a subset of health information including demographic information collected from the individual that identifies the individual or as which there is a reasonable basis to believe that the individual can be identified. Individually Identifiable Health Information that is transmitted by electronic media, maintained in electronic medium, or transmitted or maintained in any other form or medium.
Upon admission, each resident and/or responsible party is informed of the facility’s policy regarding the privacy of protected health information and under which circumstances the information is released.
Information contained in any aspect of the resident’s clinical record, whether paper or electronic, is restricted to those staff members who require access to enable provision of care. For example; a member of the housekeeping team may need to know that a resident is in isolation so as to maintain a safe environment, but does not have access to the clinical record for specific information about the type or name of the infection or the treatments ordered.
Clear, concise and accurate communication is the cornerstone of providing consistent care for our residents. Staff members make every effort to protect each resident’s PHI. As a matter of course of providing services for our residents, it is necessary to share PHI with other healthcare providers who are involved in caring for that resident. PHI is shared with third-party vendors for billing purposes. PHI is shared verbally, by written documentation and electronic submission. Lastly, PHI is disclosed relative to the facility’s legal obligations. Staff members are educated upon hire and at least annually about their role and responsibility for maintaining confidentiality with regard to all resident information.
Each resident has the right to limit disclosure of PHI to certain individuals, but a resident’s request may not include regulatory agencies, third-party vendors for payment, other healthcare providers during the provision of care or to prohibit the facility from meeting its legal obligations. Resident preference for disclosure of PHI is noted in the clinical record.
An accounting of disclosure of PHI is available to residents and/or their legal representative upon written request. Some records may be restricted from reproduction such as: psychotherapy notes, and information pertaining to civil, criminal or administrative proceedings. A charge may be imposed for copying records.