Health Information and Data Sharing Questions Answered

Public health officials, attorneys, policy-makers and advocates have reached out to the Network with requests for legal assistance. Below are some of these requests and the responses given by Network attorneys. To protect privacy, names are not included in the examples. In addition, the Network will not share an example if a requestor asks for his or her request to be withheld.

If you have a question, submit it here.

Health Data Privacy in a School Setting

posted on Wed, Apr 26 2017 10:21 am by The Network for Public Health Law

A physician who participates on an asthma workgroup recently contacted the Network about potential legal issues related to keeping and distributing lists of students with health concerns in a school setting. Specifically, the requestor wanted to know the considerations involved in having schools create lists of students who suffer from asthma to distribute to teachers, coaches, bus drivers and other staff. This list would help staff be prepared to respond in case of an asthma attack.

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Disclosure of Individual Health Information – HIPAA Requirements

posted on Tue, Oct 25 2016 10:03 am by The Network for Public Health Law

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a health provider or other covered entity may be required or allowed to disclose protected health information to third parties without the authorization or agreement of the patient - but what are the patient's rights?

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HIPAA Privacy Rule and De-Identification of Health Information

posted on Wed, Apr 27 2016 9:38 am by The Network

The Network received a request from a health researcher working on anonymizing health data to comply with the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The researcher asked the Network if failing to de-identify the health care provider could be seen as a violation of privacy under HIPAA.

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Parental Consent and Notification Laws: Prenatal Care for Minors

posted on Thu, Jan 21 2016 9:35 am by The Network

The Network was contacted by an Indiana health care facility that provides services to pregnant women and girls. The facility has an ultrasound machine and wanted to know whether Indiana law prohibits providers from performing an ultrasound procedure on a minor without parental knowledge or consent.

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How Insurance and Privacy Laws Treat Genetic Information

posted on Wed, Oct 14 2015 3:26 pm by The Network for Public Health Law

The Network recently received an inquiry about how privacy and insurance laws treat information derived from genetic testing.

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Health Information Data Sharing: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

posted on Wed, Jan 7 2015 11:23 am by The Network for Public Health Law

The Network was recently asked whether a school district can specifically request that parents provide details regarding their child’s absence for illness under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and if so, what logistics would be implied in legally collecting and protecting that information.

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Health Information Data Sharing: Use of Disease Outbreak Detection Systems across Jurisdictions

posted on Tue, Sep 30 2014 3:31 pm by Mid-States Region

The Network was recently contacted by a requestor who asked for a general overview of statutory authority for the use of syndromic surveillance across jurisdictions.

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Health Information Data Sharing: Balancing Public Health Needs and Patient Privacy

posted on Wed, Aug 6 2014 2:52 pm by The Network for Public Health Law

The Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) seeks to balance the need of public health agencies to access health data with the desire of patients for health care privacy. The Network was recently asked whether local health departments can request and obtain hospital medical records for investigating a cancer or environmental disease cluster.

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HIPAA Business Associate Agreement Provisions

posted on Mon, Jun 10 2013 4:17 pm by Mid-States Region

Resources related to the recent changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that were part of the Omnibus Final Rule.

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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

posted on Fri, Mar 1 2013 12:00 am by Mid-States Region

The Network was contacted by a state official about recent changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that were part of the HIPAA omnibus final rule, and how the changes applied to her state's health department.

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