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Protecting Patient Personal Health Information

This MLN Matters Special Edition Article reminds physicians of the HIPAA requirement to
protect the confidentiality of the PHI of their patients. Recently, the Centers for Medicare &
Medicaid Services (CMS) learned of a potential security breach in which someone was
offering for sale over 650,000 records of orthopedic patients. Remember that a covered
entity must notify the Secretary of Health and Human Services if it discovers a breach of
unsecured protected health information. See 45 C.F.R. § 164.408. Also, keep abreast of any
issues that your business associates, especially those entities that provide you with hardware
and/or software support for your patient electronic health records. Be sure they are required
to report any actual or potential security breaches to you, especially threats that compromise
patient PHI.

Download the Guidance Document


Issued by: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Issue Date: July 20, 2016

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this database lack the force and effect of law, except as authorized by law (including Medicare Advantage Rate Announcements and Advance Notices) or as specifically incorporated into a contract. The Department may not cite, use, or rely on any guidance that is not posted on the guidance repository, except to establish historical facts.