Top tier question...check it out!

  • 1.  Top tier question...check it out!

    Posted 07-07-2020 11:01 AM
    Cross posted to the HIPAA and CHPC eGroups as this is where it may have the most applicability.

    After someone viewed the video on LinkedIn at the link below, this person asked about why the topic and clarification of health care operations was mentioned.  There is, in my opinion, a very important reason that the distinction of why we need to understand that the use described in contacting individuals falls under health care operations.

    So for those looking to do some C&C...I ask...why is the fact that this use (based on HHS guidance) falls under health care operations so important?

    Think about it a bit...this is one of those answers that when not overthinking the question makes the answer so much easier.

    Good luck!  (Thanks to M.B who asked...I promised I would not use his/her name but wanted to make sure he/she knew I posted this because I thought the question was so useful.)


    -------------Frank "Snake Bite Leader" Ruelas--------------
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  • 2.  RE: Top tier question...check it out!

    Posted 07-07-2020 12:46 PM
    Frank (and everyone else), 

    As your video so thoroughly and effectively pointed out allowable uses and disclosures under the privacy rule are (with a few more obscure or less common reasons) those that fall under TPO. 
    Treatment is specifically the treatment of the individual in question. So PHI can be accessed, used, or disclosed to treat the person to whom the PHI refers. In this case we are talking about research on and treatment of conditions occurring in others not the subject of the PHI.
    Payment is simply not relevant to the discussion. 

    So that leaves healthcare operations. I always specify healthcare operations and contrast it with general business operations.which is not a ligitimate reason for access, use, or disclosure.  As your video pointed out community based health initiatives are considered healthcare operations. As such access to identify individuals would be allowed if explained in the notice of privacy practices (note the lowercase letters). There is some thought that simply saying we can use your PHI for healthcare operations is sufficient the nuances here are best left up to those who actually are lawyers (I am not) but I feel the more specific the notice is the more informed patients will be and that is the purpose of the notice.    

    So that my $0.02 for whatever it is worth. 

    On a side note I will be regaining access to my library soon so in the near future I can go back to providing documentation to myu unfounded and wild opinions. :) 

    Still will not be a lawyer nor be able to provide legal advice. All opinions, wi;d or otherwise will continue to be my own and not reflect the views,  opinions or learned knowledge of anyone else, no matter how much they should.  

    Alexander I Slosman, MHA, CHC, CHPC

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  • 3.  RE: Top tier question...check it out!

    Posted 07-08-2020 12:47 PM
    Great info and video Frank. Thank you

    Robin Moreno
    Compliance and Privacy Officer


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