HIPAA

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HIPAA

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  • HIPAA and Law Enforcement: Learning Team B: Marc Babineau, Brenda Balderrama, Stephanie Egleston, & Dianna Kirkland
  • HIPAA is an acronym for the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act, Public Law 104-191, which amended the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986. Also known as the Kennedy-Kassebaum Act, the Act includes a section, Title II, entitled Administrative Simplification, requiring: Improved efficiency in healthcare delivery by standardizing electronic data interchange, and Protection of confidentiality and security of health data through setting and enforcing standards. More specifically, HIPAA called upon the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish new rules that will ensure: Standardization of electronic patient health, administrative and financial data Unique health identifiers for individuals, employers, health plans and health care providers Security standards protecting the confidentiality and integrity of "individually identifiable health information," past, present or future.
  • The primacy of privacy and confidentiality has been a tenet of America for years. The nature of our work is sensitive and the backlash of violating privacy can be devastating. The U.S. Congress recognized the importance of privacy concerning medical records and enacted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA).The HIPAA act has changed the way hospitals are permitted to release and communicate patient information to law enforcement agents. The privacy regulations establish that personal health information must be kept confidential.
  • Hospitals and law enforcement officers must interact in a way that does not violate the new federal health information privacy regulations. Law enforcement agents, prosecutors, and judges interact with one another on a daily basis due to the nature of their work. There are a few areas in which criminal justice personnel should be familiar with: hospital release of patient information to law enforcement officers; hospital release of information with special protection including communicable diseases, mental health issues, and alcohol and drug abuse treatment information; law enforcement officer presence in hospitals; hospital release of patient property to law enforcement officers: and hospital release of blood and bodily fluid samples. The HIPAA regulations are important in regards to the privacy of the patient and the legalities of criminal or civil cases. The information provided has been developed for guidance and is based on state and federal laws which may change from time to timeHospitals and law enforcement officers must interact in a way that does not violate the new federal health information privacy regulations. Law enforcement agents, prosecutors, and judges interact with one another on a daily basis due to the nature of their work. There are a few areas in which criminal justice personnel should be familiar with: hospital release of patient information to law enforcement officers; hospital release of information with special protection including communicable diseases, mental health issues, and alcohol and drug abuse treatment information; law enforcement officer presence in hospitals; hospital release of patient property to law enforcement officers: and hospital release of blood and bodily fluid samples. The HIPAA regulations are important in regards to the privacy of the patient and the legalities of criminal or civil cases. The information provided has been developed for guidance and is based on state and federal laws which may change from time to time
  • The HIPAA rules on hospitals releasing patient information is complicated although the release of property not as complicated. Hospitals, in most cases, require proper documentation such as courts orders, search warrants, or patient permission. If the officer has the required certification they are able request records concerning abuse or in cases of violent crimes. Other exceptions to proper documentation would be in the commission of a crime, relevant to a crime committed on the hospital premises, or preventing serious harm from occurring. In cases of inmates and the safety of other inmates of correctional employees release is often times allowed. HIPAA also allows the release of private information in cases of national security purposes. Property being released often requires proper documentation except plain view and if the patient is under arrest. A bullet retrieved from a patient can be released to the officer without any warrants being provided.
  • Sensitive information about communicable diseases requires patient authorization, a law authorizing the release or proper documentation such as a court order or search warrant. Mental health information requires patient’s signature or a court order as well unless the individual is sexually violent then the release of information may be disclosed varying from state to state. The requirements for release of information concerning alcohol or drug treatment if there is a court order, patient signature or the individual is a threat.  
  • Law enforcement officers are often present at the hospital due to the nature of their job. They are allowed in hospitals as security personnel or to prevent a suspect from leaving. The law requires they do not disclose any information seen or heard while in the hospital. Asking for interviews or photographs is permitted but the medical care of the individual is priority and the officer should not interfere with the medical care.
  • The policies for HIPAA are effective and adequate but not every department claims to know HIPAA policies The HIPAA policies trump state policies and each department needs to educate their employees of the regulations and penalties for non compliance.
  • HIPAA

    1. 1. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Learning Team B
    2. 2. What is HIPAA? <ul><li>The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act enacted by the U.S. Congress </li></ul><ul><li>Improves efficiency in healthcare delivery by standardizing electronic data interchange </li></ul><ul><li>Protects confidentiality and security of health data through enforcing standards </li></ul>
    3. 3. How HIPAA affects law enforcement <ul><li>HIPAA has changed the way hospitals are allowed to release information </li></ul><ul><li>The privacy regulations established must be kept confidential </li></ul><ul><li>The backlash of violating privacy can be devastating for law enforcement personnel and organizations </li></ul>
    4. 4. Areas criminal justice personnel should be familiar with <ul><li>Release of patient information and property </li></ul><ul><li>Communicable diseases, mental health, alcohol and drug treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Law enforcement’s presence at hospitals </li></ul><ul><li>Release of blood and body fluids </li></ul>
    5. 5. Affect on law enforcement- Release of Patient Information <ul><li>Proper documentation and/or patient consent is required in most cases </li></ul><ul><li>The exceptions would be cases of abuse, property obtained during commission of a crime, or to prevent serious harm from occurring to individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation is not required in cases of national security. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Affect on law enforcement-Diseases, Alcohol/Drugs & Mental Health <ul><li>Patient authorization required in most cases </li></ul><ul><li>Court orders or search warrants must be obtained and cover the specific information required a general order can not be used. </li></ul><ul><li>If the individual is a threat the release of information can be secured </li></ul>
    7. 7. Affect on Law Enforcement- presence at hospitals <ul><li>Allowed as security or to prevent a suspect from leaving </li></ul><ul><li>Not allowed to disclose any information they see or overhear while present at the hospital / are not allowed in the room without consent of the patient. </li></ul><ul><li>While obtaining information or speaking to individuals officers must not interfere with medical care of a patient </li></ul>
    8. 8. Penalties for Non Compliance <ul><ul><li>Fine of $50,000 or 1 year in prison or both </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If offense is committed under false pretenses, fine $100,000 or up to 5 years in prison or both </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If offense committed with intent to sell, transfer, or use individually identifiable health information for commercial advantage, personal gain, or malicious harm, fine of up to $250,000 of 10 years prison or both </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HIPAA provides civil fines from $100-$250,000 for all violations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence obtained illegally inadmissible in court </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Important Elements of HIPAA Requiring Compliance <ul><li>Standard electronic transaction formats </li></ul><ul><li>Standard code sets </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul>
    10. 10. Key Steps to be taken to achieve compliance with HIPAA <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Assurance </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up Audit and Assessment </li></ul>
    11. 11. How HIPAA regulations are enforced <ul><li>Complaints </li></ul><ul><li>Compliance reviews conducted </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal and civil penalties </li></ul>
    12. 12. Current Status of HIPAA <ul><li>Existing policies effective </li></ul><ul><li>The current policies are adequate </li></ul><ul><li>Favored by hospitals and patients </li></ul><ul><li>Fair and just treatment of patients, medical professions, and criminal justice personnel </li></ul><ul><li>Still in need of implementation in some departments </li></ul>
    13. 13. For more information on HIPAA <ul><li>For more information about HIPAA and law enforcement go to http://www.hipaa.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation only covered basic information in which you should be aware of to protect yourself </li></ul>
    14. 14. Closing <ul><li>HIPAA affects how law enforcement must conduct day to day business and practices. In order to promote justice and fair treatment all criminal justice personnel must become educated about HIPAA practices. All criminal justice personnel should be respectful of patient privacy and confidentiality protocol and HIPAA guarantees that. </li></ul>
    15. 15. References <ul><li>Artemis Solutions Group Copyright © 2002-2007 Retrieved from http://www.biometricsdirect.com/Biometrics/laws/HIPAA/hipaaviolations.htm February 27 th 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>HG.org 1995 – 2008 © Retrieved from http://www.hg.org/articles/article_1450.html February 27 th 2008 </li></ul>

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