Corporate Compliance

Access to facility directories

Compliance Monitor, June 10, 2005

A: Unless the patient has exercised the "opt-out" provision, you can share directory information about a particular patient (excluding the religious affiliation information) with any person who asks for the patient by name. You can also disclose directory information, including religious affiliation information, to a member of the clergy, even if the clergy member does not request information by patient name.

Note that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) commentary makes it clear that you are not required to inquire about the religious affiliation of an individual and individuals are not required to supply you with that information. For more information, see Section 164.510(a) "Use and Disclosure for Facility Directories" on the Bricker Eckler Web site.

Editor's note: Attorneys from Bricker & Eckler LLP answered this question. This is not legal advice. Consult your attorney for legal matters.

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