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Redisclosure of Health Information (fwd)

  Mary Brandt (AHIMA) typing at all.
  ---------- Forwarded message ----------
  Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 11:27:13 -0500
  To: jbrady@freenet.columbus.oh.us
  Subject: Redisclosure of Health Information
  This is in response to Elizabeth from Michigan's question about
  re-releasing medical records from other healthcare facilities. 
  The American Health Information Management Association addressed this
  issue in a position statement entitled, "Redisclosure of Health
  Information" published in the December 1993 issue of the Journal of AHIMA. 
  (We'll be publishing a practice brief on that issue later this year.)
  AHIMA recommends the following: 
  (1) A facility may disclose health information from another facility
  without authorization from the patient or his legal representative if it
  is urgently needed for patient care.  If time permits, authorization from
  the patient or his legal representative should be obtained prior to
  redisclosure of the information. 
  (2) If a patient requests access to health information from another
  facility, any facility possessing the information should disclose it to
  the patient upon written request, unless otherwise prohibited by state
  law. (Some states restrict the disclosure of certain information, such as
  psychiatric records, to patients.)
  (3) Unless otherwise required by state law, no other redisclosures should
  be made.  In response to a subpoena or other request, the healthcare
  provider should not disclose information from another facility, with the
  exception of outside test results which have been made a part of the
  provider's record.  (This position is not popular with attorneys who want
  to do "one-stop shopping" for patient records, but AHIMA believes this
  practice is in the patient's best interest.  However, some state laws
  require a provider to disclose any information in his possession, so you
  need to be aware of the requirements in your state laws.)
  (4) If the patient brings copies of prior health information with him,
  those copies should be given back to him if he asks for them.  If this
  information was used in the patient's diagnosis or treatment, the facility
  should keep a copy of the information with the patient's record. 
  Hope that helps.
  Mary Brandt
  Mary Brandt, MBA, RRA, CHE
  American Health Information Management Association
  Internet:  MBrandt@AHIMA.MHS.Compuserve.com
  Telephone:  (713) 668-3425