The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights released a FAQ clarifying aspects of personal health information disclosure policies with patients’ family members and other loved ones under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, HealthITSecurity reports. The release of the FAQ is partially a response to the confusion surrounding the disclosure of health information following the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. “In either circumstance, the person can be a patient’s family member, relative, guardian, caregiver, friend, spouse, or partner,” the FAQ reads. “The Privacy Rule defers to a covered entity’s professional judgment in these cases and does not require the entity to verify that a person is a family member, friend, or otherwise involved in the patient’s care of payment for care.”
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