DNP 830 Considered Protected Health Information Under HIPAA

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DNP 830 Considered Protected Health Information Under HIPAA

DNP 830 Considered Protected Health Information Under HIPAA

DNP 830 Considered Protected Health Information Under HIPAA

Review the types of data that are considered protected health information (PHI). Do you plan to collect any of this data during your project? How would the collection of this data affect your project (whether you plan to collect it or not)?

If you work in healthcare or are considering doing business with healthcare clients that requires access to health data, you will need to know what is considered protected health information under HIPAA law. The HIPAA Security Rule demands that safeguards be implemented to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI, while the HIPAA Privacy Rule places limits the uses and disclosures of PHI.

Violate any of the provisions in the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules and you could be financially penalized. There are even criminal penalties for HIPAA violations. Claiming ignorance of HIPAA law is not a valid defense.

Protected Health Information Definition
Under HIPAA, protected health information is considered to be individually identifiable information relating to the past, present, or future health status of an individual that is created, collected, or transmitted, or maintained by a HIPAA-covered entity in relation to the provision of healthcare, payment for healthcare services, or use in healthcare operations (PHI healthcare business uses).

Health information such as diagnoses, treatment information, medical test results, and prescription information are considered protected health information under HIPAA, as are national identification numbers and demographic information such as birth dates, gender, ethnicity, and contact and emergency contact information. PHI relates to physical records, while ePHI is any PHI that is created, stored, transmitted, or received electronically.

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DNP 830 Considered Protected Health Information Under HIPAA
DNP 830 Considered Protected Health Information Under HIPAA

PHI only relates to information on patients or health plan members. It does not include information contained in educational and employment records, that includes health information maintained by a HIPAA covered entity in its capacity as an employer.

PHI is only considered PHI when an individual could be identified from the information. If all identifiers are stripped from health data, it ceases to be protected health information and the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s restrictions on uses and disclosures no longer apply.

What is PHI?
PHI is any health information that can be tied to an individual, which under HIPAA means protected health information includes one or more of the following 18 identifiers. If these identifiers are removed the information is considered de-identified protected health information, which is not subject to the restrictions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Names (Full or last name and initial)
All geographical identifiers smaller than a state, except for the initial three digits of a zip code if, according to the current publicly available data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census: the geographic unit formed by combining all zip codes with the same three initial digits contains more than 20,000 people; and the initial three digits of a zip code for all such geographic units containing 20,000 or fewer people is changed to 000
Dates (other than year) directly related to an individual
Phone Numbers
Fax numbers
Email addresses
Social Security numbers
Medical record numbers
Health insurance beneficiary numbers
Account numbers
Certificate/license numbers
Vehicle identifiers (including serial numbers and license plate numbers)
Device identifiers and serial numbers;
Web Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)
Internet Protocol (IP) address numbers
Biometric identifiers, including finger, retinal and voice prints
Full face photographic images and any comparable images
Any other unique identifying number, characteristic, or code except the unique code assigned by the investigator to code the data