Patient Rights and HIPAA
The federal anti-kickback statute places limits on the type of referrals doctors can make. If you have questions about the statute or the type of conduct it applies to, contact our firm. A knowledgeable health law attorney can answer your questions for you.
Answers to Your Health Care Law Questions
As a health care provider, it only makes sense that you have questions about the business side of your practice. At the Houston offices of The Stevenson Law Firm, PC, our attorneys are here to answer your questions and help you make informed decisions about your practice. Whether you have administrative concerns or you want to protect your rights in court, we can help you navigate the business of health care law.
Navigating the Business of Health Care
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Patient Rights and HIPAA
In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This Act provides patients with certain privacy rights regarding the use and transmission of their confidential health information. HIPAA also imparted corresponding duties on health care providers to protect patient privacy. For more information about patient rights under HIPAA, contact The Stevenson Law Firm, PC. in Houston, Texas, to speak with a health law attorney.
HIPAA Privacy Requirements
Under HIPAA, health plans, health care clearinghouses and providers have a duty to protect the confidentiality of all individually identifiable health care information, referred to as "protected health information". HIPAA's privacy requirements apply to information transmitted electronically, by paper and orally.
- Written Notice Requirement - Health care providers are required to provide patients with a written notice explaining the extent to which their health information can be disclosed, their rights to access their own health information and the providers' duty to protect patients' protected health information. Providers must provide the notice during the patient's first visit, or if this is not possible (such as in the case of an emergency), during a reasonable period of time after the first visit. Providers must receive written acknowledgment from patients that they received a copy of the notice and have read it.
- Access to Patient Records - HIPAA also requires that patients are provided an opportunity to view their own medical records and make copies, if so desired. Patients also may request any errors in their records are corrected.
- Informed Consent - In accordance with HIPAA, patients must give written, informed consent before their health information can be used or disclosed for any other purpose other than for treatment, payment or health care operations. The consent also must sate that the patient has the right to request the health care provider restrict its use or disclosure of the protected health information.
HIPAA does not provide a private cause of action to patients who believe their rights under the statute have been violated. Rather, the patient should submit any complaints to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR).
HIPAA offers important privacy protections to patients and their confidential health information. To learn more about HIPAA compliance, contact The Stevenson Law Firm, PC. in Houston, Texas. An attorney knowledgeable about HIPAA can help you answer your questions.
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