Patient Rights and Responsibilities under HIPAA
HIPAA, or the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, protects every person’s individually identifiable health information, or protected health information (PHI). Covered information includes information, including demographic information, relating to:
The method or path of health care
The individual past, present or future conditions
The past, present, or future payment of health care
Any type of information which can identify the patient.
It is the right of the patient to have personal information protected
The patient has the right to state who can and cannot view the medical records
The patient has the right to determine a health care proxy, who can openly discuss patient care with professionals.
The patient has the right to release medical records to any individual or health care entity.
The patient has the right to make informed choices regarding health information.
The patient has the right to find out how personal information is being used among the medical community.
The patient has the right to review medical information at any time; this includes the health care proxy.
Patients are responsible for the individual medical record by making sure all identifiable information is updated. Patients must make sure all information is updated as it changes to ensure medical personnel are able to reach the patient when necessary. The patient is also responsible to determine a health care proxy as well as an emergency contact, which is retained in the medical record. The patient is responsible to understand how the records are used, who can use the records and if the records must be moved if the patient changes doctors.
HIPAA does not cover de-identified health information, which is any information that does not identify the patient. Professionals can de-identify information by obtaining a formal determination from a qualified statistician, or by removing all specific identifiers of the individual. If the covered entity (i.e. doctor’s office) cannot identify the individual from the remaining information, it has been de-identified. For example, a broken arm can be stated as a compound fracture on a youth, which is de-identified information.
The Vancouver Home Health Care Agency is happy to help individuals understand HIPAA rights and responsibilities further.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.