Sharing a patient’s PHI


A staff member recognizes an acquaintance, realizes the acquaintance is a patient, and shares this information with someone else. Has the staff member violated HIPAA? The answer is yes if the staff member shared this information for reasons not related to his or her job. Recognizing the patient would be considered an incidental disclosure. Disclosing this information to another person, however, would be considered an inappropriate release of PHI.

Reproduced from HIPAA Weekly Advisor © 2010 HCPro, Inc., 200 Hoods Lane, Marblehead, MA 01945. 781/639-1872. Used with permission.

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