HIPAA Regulations at the Pharmacy
HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996, in order to reform the United States healthcare system.
However, the final privacy rules of this act were issued on August 9, 2002.
The most important mission of this act is to protect the medical records and health information of an individual.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides the first U.S. standards for protecting the privacy of health information.
The main principle used by the act is the following: if someone has the right to make a health care decision, this person also has the right to control all the information associated with his decision.
That’s why every U.S. healthcare worker must receive proper HIPAA training.
Protected Health Information
Under the HIPAA act, Protected Health Information (PHI) means any information about health status, provision of health care, or payment for health care which can be linked to a specific individual.
PHI can include written documents, electronic files, and any verbal information. HIPAA does not allow the Protected Health Information (PHI) to be shared with a third party without the written consent of the patient.
It is important to mention that the patient’s signed consent before doing anything with his or her information is now only an option.
So there is no need for a pharmacy technician or pharmacist to get the patient’s consent before processing his information.
But techs and pharmacists must give their patients the written Notice of Privacy Practices. This document will spur discussions between pharmacy staff and their patients concerning how their PHI will be used.
Each privacy notice is specific to a pharmacy or hospital. However, patients are not required to sign the privacy notice if they don’t want to.
All patient acknowledgments of privacy notice must be kept on file at least for 6 years.
New Pharmacy Ownership and HIPPA
HIPAA allows the transfer of patient medical records.
So when a pharmacy has a new owner, he or she automatically gains access to all patient information. There is no need for patient authorizations to transfer all the records.
PHI and Marketing
When pharmacists intend to use the patient’s information for marketing purposes, they need written consent from the patients.
HIPPA and Minor's Rights
But what does HIPAA mention about minor’s rights? When talking about minor’s rights, HIPAA says: if the U.S. state does not specifically allow or disallow release of medical information to parents of a minor, then it is up to the pharmacist’s professional judgment if he or she will release it or not.
In other words, the state laws will determine how much of a minor’s protected health information (PHI) a parent can get through HIPAA.
Penalties for HIPPA Violations
People who violate HIPAA can face civil and criminal penalties, including fines ranging from $100 to $250,000 and/or imprisonment ranging from 1 to 10 years.
However, unintentional mistakes will not be punished. As long as techs and pharmacists protect their patients’ information and use it appropriately for their treatment, there shouldn’t be any problems.
So it’s important to protect the privacy of the patients’ information as best as possible.
Questions about HIPPA at the Pharmacy?
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What Other Visitors Have Said
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
HIPPA Question: Pharmacy Tech committing a HIPPA violation or not?
HIPAA Concerns From A Hospital Pharmacy Technician
Is an RX number alone a HIPPA violation?
Are there supposed to be marked privacy areas at pick-up and drop-off sections of pharmacies?
HIPPA Violation by a Pharmacy Owner/Pharmacist
Signing for an RX that is PUBLIC ~ Left for everyone to see your RX # and signature
HIPAA Question: Why Were My Prescriptions Were Given to My Ex-Husband
A Question about HIPPA Guidelines and Leaving Messages on Answering Machines
Pharmacy Phone Messages / HIPAA Violations? Please Advise
PRE ACCESS REPRESENTATIVE
Leaving messages on answering machines
My 10 yr olds prescription -- Is The Following Situation a HIPPA Violation? Not rated yet
HIPAA Violation? Pharmacist announcing name and strength of my medication Not rated yet
HIPPA Violation? Certified Pharmacy Tech Misrepresents Herself When Contacting Doctors Office Not rated yet
Is it a HIPPA Violation if my pharmacy gave my prescription to someone else with the same last name? Not rated yet
HIPPA Question: Can a pharmacy's marketer give out the pharmacy address and contact info at a street fair? And give out gifts? Not rated yet
Is it Legal for a Pharmacy to withhold a prescription transfer due to an overdue balance? Not rated yet
Is it a HIPPA Violation if customers are on their cell phones while being helped in our Drive-Thru? Not rated yet
HIPPA Question: Pharm tech called me to "hit on me." Is this a HIPPA Violation? Not rated yet
HIPPA: Is it OK for a relative, picking up an rx for the patient, to sign the electronic HIPPA signature pad? Not rated yet
Pharmacy HIPAA Not rated yet
HIPPA Question reguarding Hydrocodone and Suboxone Not rated yet
Pharmacist and HIPAA Not rated yet
Question about Patient Consent and Potential HIPPA Violation With Insurance Not rated yet
HIPAA Violation? I was Given someone else's medication Not rated yet
HIPAA Violation? Wife Humiliated by Pharmacist in front of many Customers Not rated yet
HIPAA Question: PharmTech Leaves Messages on an Answering Machine stating RX is ready Not rated yet
Violated rights Not rated yet
Confused: Is this a HIPPA Violation? Not rated yet
Pharmacy Tech using social network to tell someone what Rx they need, not knowing the person is currently taking meds for it! Not rated yet
Legal v/s Illegal Questions Not rated yet
pharmacy rules Not rated yet
Concerned friend Not rated yet
Records manager Not rated yet
Mailed prescription drugs Not rated yet
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