Health Information Management

HIPAA Q&A: You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers!

HIM-HIPAA Insider, December 1, 2014

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Submit your HIPAA questions to Editor Jaclyn Fitzgerald at jfitzgerald@hcpro.com and we will work with our experts to provide you with the information you need.

Q: I work at a pediatric practice, and we receive a lot of holiday cards from our patients, many of which feature family photos. We hang them up because the patients love to see themselves displayed in our lobby. We have reached out to a HIPAA security officer at a nearby hospital who told us it is not a HIPAA violation to display holiday cards received from patients. Is this accurate?
 
A: Technically, the HIPAA Privacy Rule considers full-face photographs and patient names to be PHI. However, it would be reasonable to assert that patients who send photo holiday greetings have implied their permission for you to display them. If a patient asks that their family photo be removed from the display, you should immediately comply with that request.
 
Editor’s note: Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, vice president of health information at Baylor Scott & White Health in Temple, Texas, answered this question for HCPro’s Briefings on HIPAA newsletter.

 

 



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