Health Information Management

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

HIM-HIPAA Insider, June 8, 2015

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Submit your HIPAA questions to Editor John Castelluccio at jcastelluccio@hcpro.com and we will work with our experts to provide you with the information you need.
 
Q. Is it appropriate for a patient’s physician to access his or her patient’s ePHI (e.g., from the electronic prescription service) to provide treatment and care to the patient without the individual’s written permission?
 
A. Yes, this is appropriate. Under the federal HIPAA Privacy Rule, the patient’s consent or authorization is not needed for the use or disclosure of PHI for TPO (treatment, payment, or healthcare operations). Since the physician is accessing the electronic prescription service for treatment purposes, the individual’s written permission is not needed.

Editor’s note:
Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, vice president of health information at the Central Texas Division of Baylor Scott & White Health in Temple, Texas, answered this question for HCPro’s Briefings on HIPAA newsletter. This information does not constitute legal advice. Consult legal counsel for answers to specific privacy and security questions.



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