Releasing Protected Health Information
It once was that people could feel confident sharing their private information with their doctors. This was because all of our private information was put in a file and locked up in a cabinet at our doctor’s office. However that is not the picture of privacy any more. Companies across the world have advanced in their filing systems and most have converted to electronic program filing. So now individual’s private medical information can be viewed by hundreds of people working in medical departments and by business associated to the medical field. According to PRC (2010), “The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed by Congress in 1996 to set a national standard for electronic transfers of health data. The Privacy Rule was effective on April 14, 2003, for most health care providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses. Small plans had until April 14, 2004 to comply” (Medical Privacy in the Electronic Age, para. 3). My intention is to inform individuals of when covered entities may release protected health information only with a patient’s consent and when they may release it without consent, for government agencies, legal agencies or representatives, and research groups. Government agencies have the right to release a patient’s protected health information without consent but are bound by the provisions of The Privacy Act of 1974. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 USC, section 552A) was designed to give citizens some control over the information collected about them by the federal government and its agencies. It grants people the following rights: •
to find out what information was collected about them
to see and have a copy of that information
to correct or amend that information
to exercise limited control of the disclosure of that information to other parties Healthcare organizations operated by the federal government, such as Veterans Administration and Indian Health Services, are...
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