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Since the HIPAA Privacy Rule protects a decedent’s health information only for 50 years following the individual’s death, does my family health history recorded in my medical record lose protection when it involves family members who have been deceased for more than 50 years?

Answer:

No.  When a covered health care provider, in the course of treating an individual or otherwise, collects an individual’s family health history, this information becomes part of the individual’s medical or other record and is treated as protected health information about the individual and not about the family member(s). Thus, even where an individual’s family health history includes information about family members who have been deceased for more than 50 years, the information is protected under the Privacy Rule as the health information of the individual.