HIPAA

census

  • 1.  census

    Posted 07-08-2020 04:25 PM

    Interested in opinions regarding group home residents and completing the 2020 census. Some residents are not capable of completing the form in any format and some do not possess the cognitive ability to understand the concept. Can it be completed for them? For those that do understand, do they need to complete it themselves or can a staff member complete the form? The Census is bound by law to confidentiality, but not HIPAA.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!

     


    Michael Scudillo, OTR, CHC 
    Chief Compliance Officer/Privacy Officer


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  • 2.  RE: census

    Posted 07-09-2020 08:28 AM
    ​Hi all,

    I am going to take a crack at this.  Bear in mind I am a newbie, so I am interested in what HIPAAdom advice may circulate from my response.

    2020 Census data collection can be a privacy gray area.  Residents in different levels of living should have an opportunity to meet with or respond to census workers (following COVID-19 procedures). Some collection may be in person or electronic and our responsibility is to facilitate.

    The US Census Bureau has a new process in 2020 for counting people who live in "group quarters" which is electronic. This is an alternate process to help coordinate a response on behalf of residents that we can follow for PC, AL or SNF, but not IL.  Notification of the electronic process comes via letter or you can ask your census taker for information on this.  The electronic process requires the completion of a spreadsheet (see details of spreadsheet below) based on residents living in the community (long and short stay individuals) as of April 1, 2020:

    Resident name
    Sex
    Date of birth
    Age on 4/1/2020
    Race - whether they are of Hispanic origin
    And an alternate address if a short stay resident. 

     

    If you receive a letter, it should be validated. It will have a unique identifier and phone number to the US Census Bureau person working the community.  However, if you receive an in person visit (follow the COVID-19 protocols in place for government workers) the individuals should present a badge to identify themselves as an employee of the US Census Bureau.  

    The US Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your 2020 Census responses and keep them strictly confidential and has stated it is not a HIPAA violation to provide the requested information.   Information will not be shared with surveyors or CMS. 

     



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    Debra Larkin
    Corporate Director of Compliance/Privacy Officer
    Presbyterian Senior Living
    Penn Run,PA
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    19th Annual CEI Virtual Conference


  • 3.  RE: census

    Posted 07-09-2020 10:43 AM
    That seems like a very good answer to me Debra; HIPAA does allow disclosure when required by law. I will add one thing though, as we have seen in our facilities, 42 CFR Part 2 (confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder (SUDS) patient records) does not have that same language, and therefore does not allow SUDS residential facilities to disclose the ID of its residents, without their consent.

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    David Rothery, CHC, AWI-CH
    Compliance & Privacy Officer
    Health & Human Services
    Marin County, CA


    These are my personal opinions and not those of the County of Marin
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    19th Annual CEI Virtual Conference


  • 4.  RE: census

    Posted 07-09-2020 06:13 PM
    Micheal,

    I am with David on this Debr's answer was very good and I had not even thought about the substance use disorder issues until David mentioned them. 

    I would add one other thing. If a resident not having the mental capacity to understand or respond had a guardian or other type of personal representative other than the facility the personal representative would be responsible for completing the form, answering the questions etc. 

    Just a thought.
    -Alex- 
    Alexander I Slosman, MHA, CHC, CHPC



    19th Annual CEI Virtual Conference