Health Information Management

CMS publishes guidance on record confidentiality

HIM-HIPAA Insider, March 26, 2012

CMS recently issued further guidance on patient rights to privacy and medical record confidentiality. This guidance is consistent with standards established under HIPAA. The primary areas of focus include permitted incidental uses and disclosures, as well as safeguards that must be in place to protect patient privacy.

Under the Rule, an incidental use or disclosure is a secondary use or disclosure of patient information that:

  • Cannot reasonably be prevented
  • Is limited in nature
  • Occurs as a result of another use or disclosure that is permitted, such as disclosures required for purposes of treatment

Incidental uses or disclosures are permitted, so long as reasonable safeguards are implemented to limit them to the bare minimum.

Read more on HIPAA Update.

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