Three HIPAA Rumors Dispelled

Don't fall for these three rumors that persist about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Rumor:  You cannot display photos or children's artwork given to you by a patient or the patient's family.

The Truth:  If a patient or patient's family gives you photos or artwork to display on your wall, they are waiving privacy protections. You can display the artwork or photo with pride.

Rumor:  You must have a business associate agreement with the cleaning service that cleans the medical records area of your office.

The Truth:  You may grant your cleaning service access to this area without a business associate agreement. You can even pull charts the night before. Of course, if you believe the cleaning people are snooping in your records, terminate your relationship with them. If your landlord provides the cleaning service, you could get assurances in your lease that the cleaning crew will be appropriately hired and supervised.

Rumor:  Patients' rights to amend their medical record allow them to change it.

The Truth:  Patients can only add to their record. Their amendments might clarify their perspective about their health, add information they thinks is relevant, or argue against what the physician wrote. You should clearly label patient amendments.



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Last Updated On

September 06, 2012

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