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Releasing Protected Health Information

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What is PHI?

PHI or Protected Health Information refers to any individually identifying information included in a patient's medical record that is transmitted or maintained in any form. Although that seems to be a broad definition, according to HIPAA.com, PHI can be broken down into 18 identifiers.

  1. Names
  2. Address
  3. Elements of dates including birth date,admission date,discharge date,and date of death
  4. Telephone numbers
  5. Fax numbers
  6. E-mail address
  7. Social security numbers
  8. Medical record numbers
  9. Insurance policy numbers
  10. Account numbers
  11. Certificate/license numbers
  12. Licence plate numbers
  13. Device identifiers and serial numbers
  14. URLs
  15. IP addresses and numbers
  16. Finger Prints
  17. Photos
  18. Any other unique identifying number,characteristic,or code
A valid authorization to release protected health information includes:
  • Identity verification such as a drivers license.
  • A description of the information to be used or disclosed.
  • The name of the person or organization authorized to disclose the information.
  • The name of the person or organization that the information is to disclosed.
  • Signature of the person authorized to release the information.
Who can authorize disclosures?
  • Adult patients or emancipated minors
  • Parent or guardian of a minor
  • Power of attorney
  • Executor of estate
  • Next of kin
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