HIPAA and The Optical Professional

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We have had several requests to write something on HIPAA: After reading about HIPAA violations and malpractice- please if you are unsure if you are following all the HIPAA laws- double check all the below listed resources- because they can sue you for transferring records without your permission! 

What is HIPAA– (Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)  A doctor is restricted by the privacy rules of HIPAA – from sharing any information about health care with almost anyone, outside of those involved in patient care or for public health reasons such as epidemics or police investigations. Most patients have probably received a HIPAA “Notice of Privacy Rules” form from a doctor. It describes how and when health information is protected, and when signed it simply acknowledges the patient has received it for review.

This is different from the so-called “Mutual Agreement to Maintain Privacy” contracts now offered by some doctors, often furnished by the firm Medical Justice Corp. or its subsidiary, Dental Justice. These contracts ask patients to refrain from making any public comments about the doctor or the quality of their care. Patients are allowed by law to discuss any element of their care with anyone they wish, and they can choose not to sign these contracts. 

Protected Health Information (PGI) -Under HIPAA, PHI is confidential, personal, identifiable health information about individuals that is created or received by a health plan, provider, or health care clearinghouse and is transmitted or maintained in any form. “Identifiable” means that a person reading this information could reasonably use it to identify an individual. These documents include, written documents, electronic files, and verbal information, (formal and informal), health care forms, explanations of benefits (EOB) and notes documenting discussion with patients. 

Resources

Examples of HIPAA on Optical Websites

Examples of Mutual Agreement to Maintain Privacy 

  • Piedmont Dermatology 

 


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