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PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION

Policy No: 7-002.1

PURPOSE

To identify what Protected Health Information (PHI) includes.

POLICY

All MHHC employees will know what Protected Health Information (PHI) is.

The contents of this policy will include:
  • A definition of protected health information
  • Who can release PHI
  • Conditions that warrant its release
  • Signature requirements authorizing release
  • What PHI can be released


PROCEDURE

Definition:Protected Health Information (PHI) is defined as "all individually identifiable health information transmitted or maintained by a covered entity regardless of form." (HHS April 14, 2001). It is any information that is created or received by a health care provider, health plan, public health authority, employer, life insurer, school, university or health care clearing house and related to the past, present or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual, the provision of health care to an individual, or the past, present or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual.

  • Upon admission to MHHC services, each client/patient or their representative is informed of our notice of information practices and advised of what PHI consists of and who it is shared with. A signature is obtained authorizing disclosure of PHI as needed. Upon completion of services, the authorization form expires.
  • When information is requested by a covered entity, the medical records supervisor, nursing supervisor or director will provide the information requested based on the principle of "minimum amount necessary" after verification of authorization for release.
  • PHI can be released for:
    • Treatment, payment and health care operations
    • For public safety purposes including public health
    • For law enforcement in response to a valid subpoena
    • Use by a coroner
    • Mandatory reporting requirement
    • Pursuant to a search warrant
    • FDA with respect to advance event
    • Workers compensation
    • Health oversight agencies
    • Communication with family members
    • Business associates
    • Department of health and human services
HIPPA Commitment to Compliance Privacy Practice