Developers and HIPAA

HIPAA and FHIR

The introduction of FHIR to the 2015 CEHRT has opened the door for 3rd party applications to receive patient health information directly from an EHR without an agreement in place between the health care provider or the EHR vendor. Even though the patient has selected it, shouldn't the 3rd party app be responsible for the protection of the patient's health information and be held to the same standards as the EHR vendor? ...more »

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Developers and HIPAA

web based CASE Management Tool

I have a web application that allows a patient and a doctor to create an account. the patient can upload his medical history and associate scanned files to his account. the patient then selects a doctor within the web application and invites him to have a look at his case files. we are hosting this on a hipaa compliant environment under a BAA agreement. I am the only administrator who manages the system and I manage ...more »

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Developers and HIPAA

HIPAA Program Compliance Manger

This was addressed on your old FAQ page for a number of years and it seems to have disappeared. Can "open format" postcards still be used to remind patients of upcoming appointments as long as HIPAA's minimum necessary standard is observed? Something like, "Dear Sue, We would like to remind you of your upcoming appointment on Tuesday, September 12th at 2:20 pm"?

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Developers and HIPAA

Connected Device Maintenance via App

A physician provides their patient with a medical device (like a CPAP or Glucose Meter). The company that created the medical device wants to monitor the maintenance of the machine. All of the information collected by the device that is sent to the physician is covered under a business associate agreement. Can the company that created the medical device receive information about the maintenance/operation of the device ...more »

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Providers feed PHI to your system, does this mean you are a BA?

You have an app to manage chronic care that is primarily driven by the patient and requires patient persmission to share any data, but where providers can enter some data, such as messages, or some information related to the patient's medication. The system is offered independently from a covered entity. Just because providers enter some PHI in the system, are you seen as a BA covered, or you are not a BA as long as ...more »

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When is PHI de-identified?

We have developed a platform to facilitate the scheduling of transport/rides for patients to provider appointments. The process works as follows. The provider logs into a secure site, to schedule a ride to an appointment for a patient. The platform, at the appropriate time, sends formation to a rider service provider (someone such as Lyft, Uber, etc..) to schedule the transport. The information provide the transport ...more »

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PHI request through SMS from provider

I understand there is some ambiguity regarding providers communicating PHI with patients, and I'm having some trouble interpreting how it applies to me. My provider developed software to engage patients via unencrypted SMS. My provider's medical practitioners will determine a patient is in need of monitoring and will develop or reuse a workflows to regularly request defined PHI from patients--such as diastolic and systolic ...more »

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When does a Patient Record(PR) become realized?

The topic came up in a planning session around the point in time when a PR becomes a PR. Let's say we are writing an app for first responders. If the user collects name, date of birth, and vital signs. Does the PR become legally protected as soon as the First name is collected, or is there some threshold of data size(fields, values, etc.) that indicates that the PR has been created in legal terms for HIPPA protection? ...more »

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Which Dates are considered PHI?

Assuming all other identifiers are removed from the data, which dates are considered PHI? The de-identification standard for safe harbor indicates the following must be removed: "(C) All elements of dates (except year) for dates that are directly related to an individual, including birth date, admission date, discharge date, death date, and all ages over 89 and all elements of dates (including year) indicative of such ...more »

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Is a BAA required with SMS service

If my provider is communicating PHI and non-PHI with patients through a 3rd party SMS service, such as Twilio, would my provider be required to sign a BAA with an SMS service company or such a company be classified as a conduit? We are sending encrypted data to the SMS service which is then sending unencrypted SMSs to patients. Patients can then potentially respond to those SMSs via unencrypted SMS which would be directed ...more »

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Text messaging and HIPAA

There is currently a lack of clarity about whether patient consent to communicate via (unencrypted) SMS is adequate to protect covered entities from HIPAA concerns. HHS (and medical research) has released data supported use of non-encrypted SMS, given its high accessibility to patients and its efficacy in achieving behavior change (e.g. medication compliance, smoking cessation). Many covered entitites feel that this ...more »

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