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A little background. HIPAA is an acronym that stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA includes regulations that govern the use and release of a patient's personal health information. More relevant to the news media, HIPAA also limits the kind of information hospitals and ambulance companies can disclose regarding patients. Besides privacy standards, HIPAA creates new standards for administrative transactions and the security of individual health information.
Under HIPAA, only certain communications are restricted. HIPAA does not apply to communications required to treat patients or to information shared for operations purposes. That is under a law called 45 C.F.R. § 164.501 Since information shared by a dispatch agency is shared to treat patients and to operate effectively as a dispatch service, HIPAA most often does not apply to the communication and the workers on the ambulance and the hospital because it is used during transport. These type of disclosures are considered incidental disclosures, which HIPAA’s provisions specifically permit.
So, in summary, the law prohibits disclosure and use of your information outside of the ambulance run or treatment. Their records or use during transport or emergency care is not restricted.
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