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Nov22

HIPAA Violation

If, after verifying name and date of birth, can I ask if we have the correct phone number and address on file? For example saying “I have your phone number as xxx and address as 1111 Lane St. etc. Is this correct? Or is it a HIPAA violation if I state it to them instead of asking them to provide it?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates that covered entities comply with requirements to protect the privacy and security of health information. A covered entity is an individual or organization that uses and/or exchanges confidential medical data. Common covered entities include doctors, clinics, company health plans and government programs that pay for healthcare.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects “individually identifiable health information”, including data that relates to:
• an individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition,
• the provision of health care to an individual, or
• the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual;
and data that identifies an individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify an individual. Individually identifiable health information includes many common identifiers (e.g., name, address, birth date, Social Security Number).

So, it’s acceptable to confirm an individual’s phone number and address. Assuming you’re a covered entity, stating an individual’s name, address and that you received confirmation that they have lupus, for example, would be a HIPAA violation.

In the interest of privacy, it’s common to only disclose part of an individual’s phone number or address aloud. Usually, this alone is enough for them to confirm or correct any information.

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 at 12:16 pm and is filed under
Human Resources Management.
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