Corporate Compliance

Q&A: Medical information at school

Compliance Monitor, August 17, 2011

Q. Our facility includes a medical unit that serves a pediatric population. This campus includes a school for educating the children. How can the medical unit and school transmit information without violating HIPAA?

A. You may provide information to the school without patient/parent authorization if the school is providing healthcare services to the patient as part of the treatment process. Otherwise, you must obtain authorization from a child’s legal representative to release PHI to the school if it doesn’t need this information for ongoing care.

Editor’s note: Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, a nationally recognized expert on patient privacy, information security, and regulatory compliance, answered this question. She is associate executive director of HIM at Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, TX. Advice given is general. Readers should consult professional counsel for specific legal, ethical, or clinical questions.

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