Health Information Management

Q&A: Obtaining acknowledgement of notice of privacy

HIM-HIPAA Insider, November 3, 2009

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Q. Must we obtain a patient’s acknowledgement that he or she has received the notice of privacy each visit?
A. No. You must obtain acknowledgement only once. Some organizations find requesting an acknowledgment every time a patient presents for admission easier, but this is not a requirement. Remember that patients may refuse the request to provide written acknowledgment that they have received the notice. Establish a mechanism for noting these occurrences. Note that if you revise your Notice of Privacy Practices, you must post the announcement of the change on your Web site and in your reception areas. The announcement should explain how patients may obtain the most recent version.
Note: Chris Simons, RHIA, director of utilization management HIM and privacy officer at Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook, ME, answered this question in the October issue of Medical Records Briefing

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