Law and Ethics in Medicine

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Law Ethics in Medicine, HIT 105

1. Only in certain instances does HIPAA affect the patient’s access to his/her medical records. “Covered entities may deny an individual access in certain specified situations, such as when a health care professional believes access could cause harm to the individual or another. In such situations, the individual must be given the right to have such denials reviewed by a licensed health care professional for a second opinion.” (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, n.d., p. 12) 2. Personal health information can be used for purposes such as: Required by law (court orders), Public Health Activities (preventing disease or injury), Victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, Health Oversight Activities (audits or investigations), Judicial and Administrative Proceedings, Law Enforcement Purposes, Decedents (funeral directors), Cadaveric Organ, Eye, or Tissue Donations, Research, Serious Threat to Health or Safety, Essential Government Functions (protecting the President), and Workers’ Compensation. 3. As with all laws there are few exceptions, but for the most part all covered entities must provide a notice of its privacy practices. The notice must describe the ways in which the covered entity may use and disclose protected health information. Second, it must state the covered entity’s duties to protect privacy, provide a notice of privacy practices, and abide by the terms of the current notice. Third, it must describe individuals’ rights. And lastly, the notice must include a point of contact for further information and for making complaints to the covered entity. 4. All medical office employees are required to be trained by the covered entity, in which way that is appropriate for that entity. Every office has a designated privacy official that is responsible for training and implementing its privacy policies and procedures. That entity must also keep and maintain records until six years after...
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