News & Analysis

February 1, 2011
Briefings on HIPAA

Q. May a preadmission nurse leave messages (e.g., “This is a reminder that your surgery is tomorrow; please don’t drink or eat anything after midnight.”) on an answering machine or mobile phone voice mail?

December 1, 2010
Briefings on HIPAA

Q. An insurance company is requesting copies of medical records to review our CPT coding. These cases are at least a year old and have been paid already. The insurance company said its review will not affect our payment. Do we need patient authorization to release these records, since this does not involve treatment, payment, or office operations?

June 1, 2010
Briefings on HIPAA

Q. We are an MRI facility, and our services are referral- based. Faxing MRI reports to referring providers after radiologist review is our standard procedure. Patients can schedule follow-up appointments with referring providers to obtain results of their MRI scans. Patients regularly request a copy of the report at the time of their MRI scans or within several days of the scan when they pick up a copy of MRI films. 

Does HIPAA require us to provide patients a copy of the report even when the provider has not interpreted the report and image?

April 1, 2010
Briefings on HIPAA

A patient underwent diagnostic testing in the hospital where she was employed. She received a copy of the laboratory results, and when she read them, she noticed that a physician had noted her employee status. Does this violate HIPAA?

March 1, 2010
Briefings on HIPAA

When breaches occur, you are required to notify the affected patients or their legal representatives. A minor child's legal representative is a parent or legal guardian. 

January 2, 2010
Briefings on HIPAA

Is there any regulation that defines the retention period for electronic health record (EHR) or electronic medical record audit logs?