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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) established new standards for the confidentiality, security, and transmissibility of health care information. There are three types of standards created by HIPAA: privacy, security and administrative simplification (e.g., transaction standards). Taken together, these regulations have a major impact on the day-to-day functioning of the nation's hospitals and affect virtually every department of every entity that provides or pays for health care.

Click here for more information about HIPAA.

Guide to Compliance in News Media Relations

As a provider of information, hospitals have a responsibility to ensure that the facts they are authorized to give are as accurate as possible. In addition, hospitals must protect the privacy of the patients receiving care in their facilities and comply with state and federal privacy laws, including the health information privacy standards of the Administrative Simplification Provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Hospitals must comply with the HIPAA privacy standards, so please review this information carefully. This guide is designed as a practical ethics code for the release of hospital-based news. Recognizing that few rules are made for which no exceptions exist, the guide is intended as a statement of guiding principles only. Your own hospital legal counsel should be consulted for specific questions regarding particular situations or regulations.

HIPAA Preemption Analysis

The Baird Holm Law Firm has completed the  HIPAA Preemption Analysis for NHA and its members. To review the complete analysis, Impact of HIPAA on Contrary Provisions of State Law, click here.  This document provides baseline information with which members will need when reviewing specific policies and procedures.

Title II of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 titled "Administrative Simplification" requires the adoption and use of certain security and privacy to safeguard individually identifiable health information. Subject to important exceptions, Congress gave HIPAA preemptive effect over certain contrary provisions of State law. The intent was to substitute a generally higher and uniform federal privacy standard for what already existed at the State level. Covered entities want to take HIPAA compliance seriously, and this includes understanding the preemptive effect of HIPAA in certain situations in order to know which law applies.

This Preemption Analysis is an update to the preliminary analysis from April of 2001. This analysis is limited to the preemptive effect of the HIPAA privacy standards and implementation specifications.

Charging for Medical Records under HIPAA

On behalf of the NHA, the Baird Holm law firm completed on analysis on what providers can charge for copying medical records. In general, HIPAA gives individuals the right to access their own medical information and to obtain copies of medical records. This is not an absolute right and there are a number of exceptions. The HIPAA limits only apply to copies for the individual and his/her representatives (including the individualís lawyer), not the requests by others, including other lawyers.

The covered entity may impose a cost-based fee, provided that the fee includes only the bona fide copying costs, postage, and preparing an explanation or summary when requested. To view a copy of the memorandum, click here.

This analysis was conducted based on member questions.

For more information, contact David DeVries, Health Data Analyst, at 402-742-8165.

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