Question HIPAA VIOLATION?

slwalsh

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I have a question: I just had a Doctor's office give me a call regarding a mutual patient, asking for a copy of a test that we performed on a patient. We did not refer this patient over to the new specialist. The person who called me stated that they are treating this patient for a specific condition and need this one test that we did, which could be related to the condition for which she is being treated at their office, so this would NOT be a violation of HIPAA. They don't have a signed records release. She was very adamant about this. Any thoughts? Thanks
 

kdlberg

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Because it is for treatment, she is correct that they do not need the patient's permission. But as the covered entity holding the information, it's your responsibility to check the identity of the person requesting the information--that they are really from Dr. Smith's and not the patient's psycho-ex who is going to post it all over the internet.
 

thomas7331

True Blue
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@slwalsh ,

The patient might be mutual; however, the patient is not being seen by the other healthcare provider in conjunction with services provided by your office. You must have the patient's written authorization for release before providing a copy of PHI to the other provider.

Scott B, CPCO
This is incorrect. The HIPAA law does permit providers to disclose information to other providers without a written authorization. See links below - "a health care provider (or other covered entity) is expressly permitted to disclose protected health information about an individual to a health care provider for that provider's treatment of the individual. Practices may elect to implement internal policies for records disclosures, but the law does not require this.

 
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Because it is for treatment, she is correct that they do not need the patient's permission. But as the covered entity holding the information, it's your responsibility to check the identity of the person requesting the information--that they are really from Dr. Smith's and not the patient's psycho-ex who is going to post it all over the internet.
Yes, it's tricky because you don't want to slow down patient care but 'I just took a stranger's word for it' isn't a valid excuse if you get it wrong.
 
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