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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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HIPAA Question for non-medical office

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Hello,

We are a 501(c)(3) NPO in Nevada. We routinely ask medical question on our application and registration forms. We have a person coming to an upcoming 5-month training event and outreach program who is HIV positive. This has brought HIPAA and personal privileged information to the front of our minds.

What legal responsibilities do we have concerning this, or any staff or participants', medical and personal information? As a healthcare provider (not for this organization) I understand the legal and ethical obligations in that field. However, I do not know how they apply to our NPO. The staff leading this program are aware of the participant's HIV status. 


 want our staff to be prepared and I will educate them on the misconceptions and proper procedures concerning HIV. I need to know how to educate them concerning communication of this information. What are our obligations in this situation and in other cases going forward?


Sincere thanks,

Dave

Hi, I’m a moderator for this topic and I wonder whether you’re still waiting for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will do my best to find a professional to assist you right away. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Fran,

Yes, I would still like an answer to this question, if possible.


Thank you,

Dave
Sometimes, finding the right Expert can take a little longer than expected and we thank you greatly for your understanding. We’ll be in touch again shortly.
What type of applications are you asking this question on? What is the purpose of asking the questions?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The applications are for a six-month training course which includes 2-3 months of overseas outreach, often in underdeveloped regions, potentially far from western medicine. We want to have picture of their health to factor in to the conditions they will be traveling to, but also so we can be aware of any conditions that will affect them or our staff while they are under our care.

These are all adults, which a rare occasion of a 17-year with written parental consent.


Thank you
First, when seeking any type of health information upon which any decision would be based, you need to be cautious of the Americans with Disabilities Act which prohibits you from denying participation based on any qualified disability, UNLESS you can show that there is a legitimate safety reason as to why they cannot participate.

Second, under HIPAA, the law applies to covered entities. A covered entity under HIPAA is a "healthcare provider" or "healthcare insurer" and that is it. Thus, HIPPA does not apply to employers or other non healthcare entities. However, any agency or employer collecting such medical information has a duty of confidentiality/privacy to not disclose such information EXCEPT to those within the agency who have a "legitimate business reason" to know the information. Additionally, this medical information should be kept in secure files away from other information as part of the general protection of privacy/confidentiality of the information. Failure of an agency to have privacy protections in place is what would be grounds for suit. However, sharing information with those who have a legitimate need for the information would not violate any laws.

To cover your agency, your forms should have a disclaimer on there stating that all information on those forms may be shared with other employees or members of the organization for legitimate business reasons.


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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 114754
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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