Q:

What are the HIPAA rules and regulations regarding privacy?

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Quick Answer

The HIPPA rules and regulations regarding privacy focus on what information can be shared about the medical history of a patient. It includes information that is considered protected, the people information can be legally shared with and provisions for minors and personal representatives for patients who have been declared incompetent.

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Full Answer

Information that is considered protected under HIPPA rules and regulations include any information regarding past, present or future medical conditions of a patient, medical care provided to a patient and any past, present or future payment for providing medical care to a patient. However, HIPPA rules also provide provisions for whom this information can be shared with. Protected information can be shared with the patient and medical service providers. Patients can also give permission for protected information to be shared with other individuals or businesses.

While state laws regarding privacy are typically pre-empted by federal HIPPA laws, some exceptions exist. These exceptions include if state law is necessary to prevent either fraud or abuse related to payment for medical services, to ensure state regulation of health insurance and if it is needed for state reporting on medical service delivery and costs. There is also an exception if state law is required to serve a public health, welfare or safety need.

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