Health Information Management

HIPAA Q&A

HIM-HIPAA Insider, March 25, 2013

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Q. Do I have the right as a Medicare beneficiary to access the UB-04 form that a hospital submits as a bill for payment to Medicare? May I access and receive a copy of my coding abstract? I understand that these documents are part of the electronic data that is part of my record, which is considered part of the ­designated record set.

A. The Privacy Rule gives you the right to access ­records in the designated record set. This is defined as information used by a covered entity to make decisions about individuals. For providers, the designated record set includes medical and billing records. For health plans, the designated record set includes enrollment, payment, claims adjudication, and case management records.

Q. Our hospital recently installed security cameras throughout the facility. A physical therapy aide is concerned about a camera focused on the treatment table and thinks this violates HIPAA. I also consider this inappropriate, but I am unable to find a HIPAA regulation that addresses this situation.

A. No specific section of the Privacy Rule addresses this issue, but your concerns are appropriate. The security camera should not be focused on a treatment table because this violates patient privacy. Instead, the security camera should focus on nonpatient treatment areas, such as entrances and exits, which may be of more concern from a security perspective.

Both CMS and Joint Commission surveyors are attuned to this type of privacy violation and are likely to cite this as a violation of patient privacy if they become aware of it during a survey.

Have a HIPAA question of your own? Please send your question to Editor James Carroll. (Editor's note: Due to the large volume of questions we receive, we are not able to answer all inquiries).

This Q&A was adapted from HCPro’s Briefings on HIPAA newsletter.



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