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Q: May a physician’s office release copies of a hospital’s medical records to another physician’s office for continuing patient care? Are we in violation of HIPAA if we choose not to do so?
A: HIPAA’s minimum necessary requirement does not apply to treatment disclosures. Therefore, releasing whatever information you believe would be helpful to another provider who is caring for the patient is permissible.
You may release information from another provider, such as the referring hospital, to a home care agency or other provider for continuity of care.
Also, if you receive a request from another provider who is treating the patient, release whatever the provider requests. Withholding information that another provider requests for patient care could be considered a violation of the privacy rule unless you had a valid reason (such as a preemptive state law) to deny access to the requested information.