Health Information Management

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

HIM-HIPAA Insider, March 24, 2014

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to HIM-HIPAA Insider!

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

Q. If an ambulance that is not affiliated with our organization transports a patient to our facility, can we give them PHI to use for their billing? Do we need the patient's written authorization?
A. One covered entity (CE), such as a hospital, is permitted to share PHI with another CE-in this case, the ambulance service-for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations, as long as both CEs have a relationship with the individual. Such disclosures do not require patient authorization.
In this case, giving the ambulance company PHI for its billing is considered part of its healthcare operations, so it is permissible under HIPAA. Minimum necessary requirements do apply, so be sure to limit the information you provide to the minimum needed.
For example, if the ambulance company only needs patient demographics and insurance information for billing, you should not provide a copy of the patient's medical record.
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.



Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to HIM-HIPAA Insider!

    Briefings on APCs
  • Briefings on APCs

    Worried about the complexities of the new rules under OPPS and APCs? Briefings on APCs helps you understand the new rules...

  • HIM Briefings

    Guiding Health Information Management professionals through the continuously changing field of medical records and toward a...

  • Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies

    Submitting improper Medicare documentation can lead to denial of fees, payback, fines, and increased diligence from payers...

  • Briefings on HIPAA

    How can you minimize the impact of HIPAA? Subscribe to Briefings on HIPAA, your health information management resource for...

  • APCs Insider

    This HTML-based e-mail newsletter provides weekly tips and advice on the new ambulatory payment classifications regulations...

Most Popular