Releasing Protected Health Information
What exactly is protected health information (PHI)? Health informatics Any individually identifiable health information that is used or circulated by an entity that falls under the governance of HIPAA; the privacy regulations mandate safeguards for protected health information, and the responsibility for maintaining them also extends to third-party business partners. Any information about your private and should remain between the patient and doctor. The healthcare institution is required by federal and state laws to protect the privacy of patient’s health information. HIPAA regulations define health information as "any information, whether oral or recorded in any form.
On July 1, 1997 the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), was put into law by the United States Congress. The act was put into place to improve portability of health insurance coverage, to reduce fraud and abuse in health insurance, reduce the cost and administrative burdens, and to protect the privacy of Americans personal health records and protecting the security of a patient’s health care information. This act was placed to group all regulations together and work to fight against fraud and abuse to patient’s rights. HIPPA was put into place to improve the health care system all together by providing consequences to those who disobey the regulations of HIPPAA. PHI (patient’s healthcare information) can be requested by several different agencies and representatives without or with the patients consent. PHI information can be identified by a patients name, telephone number, address, and Medicaid ID number, date of birth, name of employer or social security number. (Green & Bowie, 2005).
Under some circumstances the government may have the right or legal obligation to a patient’s medical records. All state agencies must keep records of patients with serious illnesses such as cancer;
References: Green, M.A., and Bowie, M. J. (2005). Essentials of health information management: Principles and practices. Clifton Park, NJ: Thomson. Lectric Law Library’s (2002). Medical Records. Retrieved October 29, 2010 from http://www.lectlaw.com/filesh/qf102.htm