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Maintaining Medical Privacy

Coding Corner

The information provided here applies to Medicare coding. Be sure to check with your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for additional information and clarification on these and other items. You should also contact your local insurance carriers to determine if private insurers follow Medicare's lead on all coding matters.

Maintaining Medical Privacy
Physicians are confronted by an ever-increasing challenge in protecting the privacy of patient health information. In an effort to assist physicians and others from running afoul of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), CMS released a new factsheet entitled, “Medical Privacy of Protected Health Information.” The fact sheet is designed to provide education on resources and information regarding the HIPAA Privacy Rule and how the rule applies to customary health care practices. It includes guidance on common patient encounters with the Privacy Rule and lists Department of Health and Human Services HIPAA web page resources. The document can be viewed at www.cms.gov/Outreach....pdf.