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What information was sent?
The major goal of the Privacy Rule is to protect patients' health information while striking a balance to allow for sufficient flow of medical information to provide high quality health care and to protect the public's health and well-being (Office of Civil Rights, Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule 4). The Privacy Rule covers all "protected health information" (PHI), which includes all individually identifiable health information that is held or transmitted by the covered entity or its business associate. Individually identifiable health information is information that is a subset of health information, including demographic information collected from an individual, and (1) Is created or received by a health care provider, health plan, employer, or healthcare clearinghouse; and (2) Relates to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual; the provision of health care to an individual; or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual; and (i) That identifies the individual; or (ii) With respect to which there is a reasonable basis to believe the information can be used to identify the individual (45 CFR 160.103). For purposes of HIPAA, "covered entities" include (1) a health plan; (2) a health care clearinghouse; or (3) a health care provider who transmits any health information in electronic form in connection with a transaction covered by this subchapter.
For purposes of HIPAA, "marketing" is defined as "a communication about a product or service, a purpose of which is to encourage recipients of the communication to purchase or use the product or service, subject to certain limited exceptions." Under this general rule, a healthcare provider must obtain a patient's authorization to use or disclose protected health information for marketing communications (45 CFR 164.501(1)). HIPAA rules, however, provide for exceptions to this general marketing rule. One such permissible exception occurs when a covered entity uses a patient's protected health information. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) states specifically on its website that "the HIPAA Privacy Rule excludes from the definition of "marketing" communications made to describe a covered entity's healthrelated product or services …that is provided by, or included in a plan of benefits of, the covered entity making the communication" (Health Information Privacy and Civil Rights Questions & Answers, Question 281). The HHS website includes an example in which a physician who has developed a new anti-snore device sends a flyer to all of her patients - regardless of whether they had previously sought treatment for that ailment. This plan is specifically presented as allowable marketing under HIPAA. The hypothetical example clearly shows that physicians and medical practices can offer information regarding its own products or services to any current patient.
Under HIPPA, marketing of material could be allowed,
however it is important to know what information was being sent to these individuals,
and if they gave permission,
Without permission from the patients for marketing it may be a violation of the HIPPA rules, however, the former employer would be liable,
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.
If satisfied please provide us with positive feedback,
The patients would file a HIPPA complaint against the former employer,
It really didn't answer my question fully I just sent out a post card saying I was in a new office and I got the address information from the white pages of the phone book is that breaking hippa laws
if that is what you did,
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