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A common misconception about HIPAA

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2022 | Personal Injury

If you work in the healthcare industry or run a medical center, you know that it’s very important to follow all of the laws that are in place to protect patients. You want to provide the proper level of care, and you need to make sure that regulations are adhered to every step of the way.

One of the most important laws regarding patient privacy is known as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). This law is designed to prevent information from being released to a third-party without the patient’s consent. But there are some very important misconceptions about this that it’s important to break down so that everyone actually knows exactly where they stand:

Does HIPAA mean no one can ask you about your medical history?

What some people assume is that HIPAA means your medical history is always confidential and no one can ask you about it. If they ask you for any type of medical record in order to allow you to attend an event or enter a building, for instance, people assume this is a violation of their rights. They don’t think that they should have to give out that medical information.

And they certainly don’t have to give it out if they don’t want to, but the person asking for it is not the one breaking the law. What HIPAA actually does is that it prevents medical professionals from providing this information to a third-party without the consent of the patient. 

Anyone is certainly still allowed to ask the patient about their own medical history, and that person can then decide how much information they would like to reveal. But it is not illegal to ask about this history, just for medical professionals to go behind a patient’s back.

This is just one of the complicated healthcare laws, so you may want to be sure you know exactly what steps to take.