Specific Health Information

The reward for this category of health providers will be in form of bonus payments while those who will fail to adhere to the same will be punished through reduction of their payments. (Carter, 2008) Specific Health Information Requiring Special Protection from the Perspective of Privacy The issue of patient privacy has also received concern regarding description of specific health information that should be accorded special protection. In accordance with the legislation, patients’ information will not be treated equally since the patient will be given an allowance to control the amount of information he/she will want to disclose.

This will take place through enquiry of consumer consent when disclosing. There are a number of entities under HIPAA that are given the mandate of accessing patients information when need arises, even before getting permission from the patients. However, these entities are not supposed to access all the information but only those that cover areas of payment, general operations and treatment. This information is then used for various purposes such as auditing, quality assessment as well as undertaking business planning.

Other examples of information that are not provided to the authorized entities are those regarding psychotherapy, due to their high level of sensitivity. Consumer groups that greatly focus on upholding privacy are strict on the type of information to be disclosed. The role of this group is to identify the consequences that provision of consent to disclose one’s personal information means. They point out that, the issue of consent has the capability of encouraging unauthorized parties to access personal data from electronic records.

This means that, if they are caught possessing patients information, they cannot be held responsible or punished, since consent had been previously issued by the particular patient. (Rodrigues, 2001) A further emphasis is made concerning the manner in which patients’ information should be treated where consent has been accorded. According to a coalition supporting patient privacy, authorized entities should not have the right to use their personal information on all areas even when consent is provided.

They argue that a patient should be given the right to have control over how that information should be used and which areas to be applied. The coalition has come up with a conclusion that personal information acquired from the patient to undertake a certain purpose should be restricted to that particular purpose and not any other, unless further consent is sought. The legislation supported by stimulus package has been found to give allowance to various entities to have access to information that patients have already provided consent.

It allows these records to be disclosed for research purposes, particularly those dealing with public health. This consideration seems reasonable to some point, having in mind that the information will assist acquisition of solutions to health problems. However, some people still argue that patients’ information might get into entities they would not have preferred. (Rodrigues, 2001) Conclusion It is clear that some of the money contained in stimulus package has been allocated to the health sector where it is supposed to reinforce as well as improve electronic maintenance of health records.

These funds are mainly supposed to encourage health providers to uphold patient privacy. Those who will work towards its observation will be given some reward while those who will not will be penalized accordingly. Patients and the general public are also being enlightened on the meaning of patient privacy and their rights regarding the same. This knowledge has proven important to patients since it will help them know when being exploited. The specific entities that are given permission to access patients’ information are outlined which differentiates between those who are authorized and who are not.

Due to the nature of electronic data storage which has a low level of confidentiality, patients are expected to control information they provide to health providers. They should also take care when giving approval to have their information disclosed for whatever purpose. (Carter, 2008)


Carter J. (2008): Electronic Health Records: A Guide for Clinicians and Administrators, California: ACP Press pp 47-49 Rodrigues R. (2001): The regulation of privacy and data protection in the use of electronic health information, New York: Pan American Health Org pp 11-15

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