HIPAA Privacy Rule Use and Disclosure Misconceptions

Jonathan P. Tomes, J.D., is Keynote Speaker at Compliance Key. He is a health care attorney practicing in the greater Kansas City. He is a nationally recognized authority and expert witness on the legal requirements for health information. Jonathan P. Tomes is a healthcare attorney, consultant, educator, author and expert witness. He is a leading expert on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, particularly its Security and Privacy Rules. He also has litigated medical malpractice cases, defended doctors in revocation of licensure and credentialing proceedings, reviewe........


With the complexity of the Privacy Rule and the frequent changes to it, healthcare covered entities and their business associates often do not know what uses and disclosures the Privacy Rule permits. Not knowing when you can disclose health information This can result in can result in bad outcomes, including the death of the patient/client, lawsuits for breach of confidentiality, HIPAA civil money penalties, and bad publicity, as well as making the provision of healthcare less efficient. These and related questions are key to HIPAA compliance and to minimize potential liability.

Why should you attend this webinar?

Some aspects of HIPAA are not applicable to every member of a covered entities or business associates workforce, such as how to know whether to report a breach to DHHS or whether a particular mailing to patients constitutes marketing which must follow the HIPAA marketing rules or is simply a continuity of care. But all workforce members must know the HIPAA rules for accessing Protected Health Information ("PHI"), using it, and disclosing it. May a nurse, for example, give access to a patient chart to a law enforcement officer who said that he needs to know the certain identifying information to identify a murder suspect? Can a psychologist tell a spouse the appointment time for the client's next visit without the client's signed consent or authorization? These and similar questions arise all the time and you won't always have time (or resources) to get a legal opinion on the question.
Civil money penalties to date range from $50,000 to two in the $4 million range. Some of these penalties resulted from improper access by a workforce member, improper use, or improper disclosure. Such improper actions can also result in criminal liability. A physician went to federal prison for improper chart access. A nurse was convicted of improperly using PHI to threaten a lawsuit.
Nor are these penalties reserved for large practices. Fines have been assessed against two-physician practices and a small hospice in North Dakota. Being not-for-profit provides no immunity, nor does being a government entity. Alaska Medicaid was fined $1.5 million; and a county government (Skagit County in Washington State), $215,000.
In addition, other states and federal privacy laws have penalties ranging from fines, professional discipline, and lawsuits. A physician in Pennsylvania was fined a large sum and lost her hospital privileges because of an improper disclosure on her Facebook.

Areas Covered in the Session:

Who can Benefit:

  • Target audience, role/designation.
  • Health Professionals and their staffs
  • Privacy and Security Officers
  • Medical Records Professionals
  • IT Professionals, Office Managers 
  • Risk Managers
  • Business Associates of Covered Entities those that provide a service for the Covered Entity involving the use of individually identifiable health information (transcription services, billing services, cloud storage companies, and the like), Healthcare Attorneys, Compliance Officers.

Webinar Id: HIPJPTH001

Training Options:

Duration: 60 mins

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