Health Information Management

Q&A: Privacy for patients with HIV who are in continuing care

HIM-HIPAA Insider, June 19, 2012

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A: Caregivers do not need to know if a patient or resident is HIV positive. The HIPAA minimum necessary standard applies here. If the caregivers are providing assistance with daily living, they don't need to know the patient's or resident's diagnosis, whether it's HIV or a host of other ailments. Employed or contracted physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and so forth do need to know because they are providing healthcare treatment. To assess and properly treat the patient or resident, they need to know the patient or resident's diagnosis.

Editor’s note: Chris Apgar, CISSP, is president of Apgar & Associates, LLC, in Portland, Ore., answered this question, which originally appeared in the June issue of Briefings on HIPAA.



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