Releasing Protected Health Information

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Releasing Protected Health Information

By | March 2011
Page 1 of 2
Releasing Protected Health Information
In this paper, I will discuss the principles that permit disclosure of protected health information with or without the patient’s consent for each of the four categories, government agencies, legal agencies or representatives and research groups. I will also state whether I feel privacy safeguards are adequate to support those principles.

The principles that allow covered entities such as government agencies to release protected health information only with the patient’s consent is that PHI will be released in compliance with the regulations governing reporting requirements. There are times where the government can release protected health information, the HIPAA Privacy Rule provides that protected health information disclosed without the authorization of the subject of that information for health oversight activities. Government regulatory programs that need health information to determine compliance with program standards do not need to obtain an individual’s authorization to use that individual’s health records for the appropriate oversight of entities subject to that program’s regulations. In addition, the government can also release PHI due to an ongoing criminal investigation as well as other investigations as well. Just like legal agencies, patient healthcare records or protected health information is disclosed information pursuant to a lawsuit court order. A subpoena signed by a judge is sufficient to permit disclosure of all healthcare records in the court of law. Other entities in the government can release protected health information such as, Medicare, Medicaid, Military and veteran’s activities, armed forces personnel, national security and intelligence activities, protective services for the president and others, medical suitability determinations and correctional institutions for the provision of health care.

Legal agencies such as attorneys are required to obtain authorization from the patient prior to...