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Yes. The HIPAA Privacy Rule is not intended to prohibit providers from talking to each other and to their patients. Provisions of this Rule requiring covered entities to implement reasonable safeguards that reflect their particular circumstances and exempting treatment disclosures from certain requirements are intended to ensure that providers’ primary consideration is the appropriate treatment of their patients.
Yes. The HIPAA Privacy Rule permits health care providers to communicate with patients regarding their health care.
Yes. Covered entities, such as physician’s offices, may use patient sign-in sheets or call out patient names in waiting rooms, so long as the information disclosed is appropriately limited.
No. The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not prohibit covered entities from engaging in common and important health care practices; nor does it specify the specific measures that must be applied to protect an individual’s privacy while engaging in these practices.
Yes, the Privacy Rule permits this practice as long as the clinic takes reasonable and appropriate measures to protect the patient’s privacy.
The Privacy Rule explicitly permits certain incidental disclosures that occur as a by-product of an otherwise permitted disclosure—for example, the disclosure to other patients in a waiting room of the identity of the person whose name is called.
Disclosures of protected health information in a group therapy setting are treatment disclosures and, thus, may be made without an individual’s authorization.
The Privacy Rule includes a specific exception from the accounting standard for incidental disclosures permitted by the Rule. See 45 CFR 164.528(a)(1).
The provisions apply universally to incidental uses and disclosures that result from any use or disclosure permitted under the Privacy Rule, and not just to incidental uses and disclosures resulting from treatment communications, or only to communications among health care providers or other medical staff.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not require that all risk of incidental use or disclosure be eliminated to satisfy its standards.