Health Information Management

Ask the expert: When a mother signs a privacy notice, does this cover the newborn as well?

HIM-HIPAA Insider, July 2, 2007

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Q: When a baby is born in a hospital (i.e., HIPAA covered entity) and the mother has received and acknowledged the covered entity's notice of privacy practices during a prior service, is the hospital required to offer to the mother and seek her acknowledgement of the notice of privacy practices on behalf of the baby?

If the mother acknowledges the covered entity's notice of privacy practices during the same admission as the baby's birth, does the acknowledgement that she signed for herself meet the requirement for the baby's acknowledgement as well, or should the mother sign two acknowledgements?

A: The privacy regulations require you to give each patient (or his or her personal representative) a copy of your notice of privacy practices and obtain his or her acknowledgment of its receipt. You should offer the mother another copy of the notice and ask her to sign the acknowledgment for her baby.

Editor's note: This question and answer was adapted from the July issue of Briefings on HIPAA. Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, president of Brandt & Associates, Inc., a healthcare consulting firm in Bellaire, TX, answered this question. For more information, click here.



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