Tuesday, September 16, 2008

HIPAA: Can you release medical information to family and friends?

My favorite fellow HIPAA blogger, Jeff Drummond, over at the HIPAA Blog points out the Office for Civil Rights has issued new guidance for providers to follow when assessing whether or not they should provide protected health information (PHI) to the friends or family of a patient under HIPAA Privacy Rule 164.510(b).

The guidance is titled "Guidance on Communications with Family, Friends, or Others Involved in a Patient's Care" and includes a patient and provider guide:
  • Patient Guide: When Health Care Providers May Communicate About You with Your Family, Friends, or Others Involved in Your Care
  • Provider Guide: Communicating with a Patient's Family, Friends, or Others Involved in a Patient's Care
Thanks Jeff for the tip on the new guidance information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bob, thanks so much for posting this. This is always a big issue working in the emergency department where I work. I didn't realize there had been a change in venue here.

Many times a day patient's friends and families members call asking about their loved ones and they usually get the customary "I am sorry but I can't tell you.....This will go along way to improving provider/patient/family relations.

This is something I will forward amongst my colleagues.