Regulatory Requirements Part 2

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Course
Time
5 hours 25 minutes
Difficulty
Intermediate
CEU/CPE
6
Video Transcription
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>> Hi everybody.
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Welcome back to the HCISPP certification course
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with Cybrary,
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Regulatory Requirements, Part 2.
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My name is Schlaine Hutchins and
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I'll be your instructor for this course.
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In this video, we're going to talk about PII and PHI,
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data subjects and research
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and how these apply to regulatory requirements.
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It's important to understand the definitions of PII,
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personally identifiable information,
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and PHI, protected health information.
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PII is any information that allows
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positive identification of an individual
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such as your name,
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your birth date, your address, or your phone number.
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Protected health information, or PHI,
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is any of those elements that are part of
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the health care and treatment of an individual.
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For example, your name
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and the name of a prescription that you're
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taking or your name and
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the pharmacy where you get your prescriptions filled.
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It's important to note that PII only becomes
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PHI when the information is handled by a covered entity.
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Remember, a covered entity
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is a hospital or a care center,
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a pharmacy, or an insurance plan.
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A pharmaceutical manufacturer is not a covered entity.
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The personal information that they may have
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related to patients who apply for
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discounts on their particular brand of drugs is not
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protected health information under
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HIPAA and it's not
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subject to the same regulatory safeguards,
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although it may be covered under
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state laws with similar protections and consequences.
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To go a little deeper,
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HIPAA defines PHI as 18 different data elements,
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with the 18th element being
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any other unique identifying number,
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characteristic, or code.
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Think about that. When you
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receive data from a covered entity,
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even if it's just one of these elements,
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it is considered PHI and must be
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protected and safeguarded according to HIPAA.
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It could be a list of email addresses or
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even the IP address from where
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a patient logged into their online account.
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Because it's tied to
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a record from a covered entity, it's PHI.
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An unauthorized disclosure of
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this information could be a potential HIPAA data breach.
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The significance here is how
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these elements can be used to tie back to a patient.
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HIPAA was created to protect the dignity of
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US citizens and their health care information.
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Disclosure of personal information may cause
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intrinsic harm simply because that private information is
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known by others and this is according to savor
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our medical research and intangible harm,
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a University of Cincinnati Law Review, 2006.
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Another potential danger is economic harm.
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Individuals could lose their job, their health insurance,
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or housing if the wrong type
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of information becomes public knowledge.
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Consider this story.
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When the HIV/AIDS epidemic broke out,
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the stigma around HIV&AIDS was very
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negative and harmful to those who contracted the virus.
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Over the next several years,
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more education was provided about the virus and
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the auto-immune disease that could result afterwards.
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New drugs have been developed to extend the lives of
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those with the virus and
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halt the progression of the disease.
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Insurance plans begin to
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cover some of those drugs for patients.
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One insurance company, Aetna,
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in 2017, used the vendor to send letters to its members.
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The envelope used by the vendor contained
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a window to display the recipient's name and address.
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The window, however, was large
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enough that the first few lines
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of the information could be viewed.
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That information indicated that the patient
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was taking HIV medication,
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12,000 of those letters were mailed.
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Anyone who handle that letter
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could view the information;
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the mail carrier, a neighbor picking up the mail,
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a family member who was unaware.
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This was a data breach.
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Any information that can be tracked back to
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an individual person is
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considered protected health information.
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Aetna settled the Pennsylvania lawsuit for
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$17 million and $365,000 civil penalty to settle
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the claims for $100,000 in Connecticut and
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$175,000 in DC for a total of $640,000 in civil suits.
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Aetna then filed a $20 million lawsuit
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seeking damages from the vendor.
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The exposure of health care information
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of prominent citizens and
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public figures in the United States
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prompted the legislation that led to HIPAA.
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With the onset of the Internet and
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its population of attackers who
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seek either monetary gain,
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notoriety, or both,
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has made the challenge for protecting
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the information even greater.
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The reality is that health information is worth
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more to an attacker than most other kinds of information.
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According to an article on FearsHealthCare.com,
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the number of patient records
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breached nearly tripled in 2019.
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Over 41 million patient records were breached in 2019
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with a single hacking incident
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affecting close to 21 million records.
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Responsibility for protecting PHI
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within an organization are complex.
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Here are a few responsible parties.
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The data controller or manager is
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the senior person in charge of
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managing the data systems used in capturing,
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storing, or analyzing the PHI of
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patients under the care of the organization.
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They're responsible for maintaining
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the integrity of the data system and
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authorizing access of internal and external users
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to the system and the PHI.
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The data custodian is responsible
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for the maintenance and integrity of the data system,
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software, and hardware that house and process the data.
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They keep the systems updated, backed up,
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and monitor network activity
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for potential vulnerabilities.
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There are two types of data owners.
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The person to whom the data actually
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pertains to, the patient.
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The patient has final determination for how
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the data is used and to whom the data can be disclosed.
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The second is the health care organization
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that provides the treatment or services.
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They have ownership of the health record for
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the legally specified time period
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after treatment has ended.
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Have you had an appointment recently?
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Were you provided a HIPAA privacy statement
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or pamphlet or
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directed to read the HIPAA privacy statement
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post it somewhere in the office?
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If not, pay attention the
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next time you go to the dentist or to the eye doctor.
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You should always receive
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a copy of those privacy statements.
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They tell you how that organization will
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be using your information and who they are
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sharing it with and your rights as
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a patient to revoke the authority and how to do so.
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I recently remember reading through one and realized that
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my name and address and email
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may be sent to a marketing firm,
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that firm may send me sweepstakes information,
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completely unrelated to the care I was receiving.
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Many times, you're asked to
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sign a line indicating that you've
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received this medication as
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you're completing the paperwork.
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I recommend not signing that portion until you
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actually receive the notice and read through it.
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It's important to do so.
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Any sharing of information must be done with
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clear permission and understanding from the patient.
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Next are the data processors.
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These are technical people who are
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involved in implementing the processing systems.
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They may be involved in performing data entry,
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testing, or systems development.
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Health information is the data collected
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about a person across a number of treatment services
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from a number of healthcare organizations
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and the health record
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is the collection of
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that health information based on treatment services.
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It's a record of specific services
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performed and the results
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or interpretations at the specific time of the treatment.
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Clinical research is necessary
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to establish the safety and
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effectiveness of specific health
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and medical products and practices.
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HIPAA regulation allows researchers to
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access and use PHI when necessary to conduct research.
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However, HIPAA only affects research that uses, creates,
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or discloses PHI that will be entered into
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the medical record or will be used
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for health care services such as treatment,
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payment, or operations.
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The privacy rule places
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specific emphasis on the authorization that is
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generally required for research uses
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and disclosures of PHI by covered entity.
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An authorization differs from
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an informed consent and that an authorization is
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an individual's permission for a covered entity to use or
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disclose PHI for a certain purpose, a research study.
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An informed consent, on the other hand,
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is the individual's permission to
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participate in the research.
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Informed consent provides the research
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subjects with a description of the study
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and its risks and/or benefits and
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how the confidentiality of the record will be protected.
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An authorization can be
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combined with an informed consent,
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but must contain the core elements
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and required statements in the privacy rule.
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Please read the supplemental materials for
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further information relating to
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the privacy rule requirements for research.
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In summary, we reviewed the PII and PHI,
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data subjects, and
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research as part of regulatory requirements.
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Thank you for joining me
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and I'll see you in the next video.
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