What does HIPAA say about employees who become patients?

What does HIPAA say about employees who become patients?

Health system employees often become patients of the healthcare entity, creating blurred lines for a health system regarding if and when it can access employees' medical records. 

But, according to a JD Supra report, HIPAA laws do not apply to employment records held by a healthcare entity. However, individually identifiable health information maintained or transmitted by a covered entity in its healthcare capacity are treated as protected health information. 

Here are three things healthcare providers should know about employee medical records:

1. If the records a healthcare entity needs to obtain are medical records of their employee, then HIPAA exceptions would apply.

2. A HIPAA-covered entity is only allowed to use or disclose protected health information for treatment, payment or healthcare operations.

3. If a health system needs to look into an employee's medical record, it must do so for an extremely limited purpose, as listed by the "healthcare operations exception."

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