With the start of a new academic year, let’s sharpen our pencils and review the ABCs of HIPAA: Authorization, Benefit, Compliance. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) helps to protect patient privacy by establishing a set of guidelines surrounding access to protected health information. Check out our helpful hints below and learn more about HIPAA at HHS.gov.
A is for Authorization
Always keep authorization in mind when determining if you may disclose protected health information (PHI). Did the patient give you permission to disclose their information to a particular individual? Patient consent may be documented via a written release of information, durable power of attorney, legal guardianship, next-of-kin, or documented verbal consent.
B is for Benefit
There are many benefits to complying with HIPAA. Perhaps, the most impactful is how following HIPAA principles strengthens the provider-patient relationship. Studies have shown that patients are more likely to be honest with their provider if they believe their provider will maintain confidentiality. By establishing a means to protect privacy, HIPAA is designed to help foster transparency and trust between the patient and provider.
C is for Compliance
The Joint Office for Compliance (JOC) is here to help you. Feel free to come to us with your privacy, policy, and safety questions. You can reach us at 319-384-8282 or visit our site on The Point. You may also report violations anonymously at 319-387-8490.