Adult protective services

  • 1.  Adult protective services

    Posted 08-18-2020 03:55 PM
    I have a friend who works in an eye clinic who had a couple come to their office today.  The couple was obviously unkept and had bed bugs actually crawling on them.  They have obviously cleaned and called the exterminator; the question however, is what can they do morally and ethically to help this couple?  Is it a violation to call Adult Protective Services?  Or is there something else they can do?

    Thank you,

    Penny Etter
    Corporate Compliance Officer
    Community Health of East Tennessee

  • 2.  RE: Adult protective services

    Posted 08-18-2020 05:36 PM
    HIPAA allows disclosing if it is authorized or required by a State law.  I'd first check your State and/or city laws and see if there is a requirement to report vulnerable or neglected adults.  If so, the law should also describe what should be reported and who is required to report.

    David Garrison
    Compliance/Privacy Officer


  • 3.  RE: Adult protective services

    Posted 08-19-2020 08:39 AM
    § 164.512 Uses and disclosures for which an authorization or opportunity to agree or object is not required.

    (j) Standard: Uses and disclosures to avert a serious threat to health or safety -

    (1) Permitted disclosures. A covered entity may, consistent with applicable law and standards of ethical conduct, use or disclose protected health information, if the covered entity, in good faith, believes the use or disclosure:


    (A) Is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public; and

    (B) Is to a person or persons reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat, including the target of the threat; 

    Anthony Ambrose, MBA, CHC, CHPC
    Compliance Officer
    Service Access and Management, Inc.
    Lewisburg, PA


  • 4.  RE: Adult protective services

    Posted 08-19-2020 10:07 AM

    In addition to what Anthony posted, our state has mandated reporter laws, which means not only do you have the right to report, but you must report.

    I'd check our your state requirements to see what laws are in place.

    Cecelia Havens, MBA, CHC
    Project and Compliance Director
    Springfield, MO