[ Wednesday, November 02, 2005 ]


No More Ride-Alongs: OCR has determined that the District of Columbia ambulance service can no longer allow governmental officials, private citizens, journalists or other non-medical personnel ride along to observe ambulance operations, since doing so would potentially result in a HIPAA violation. The non-medical observers aren't providing healthcare, and they would undoubtedly receive PHI by observing the treatment and transportation of the individuals for a purpose that isn't treatment, payment, or healthcare operations. Therefore, that disclosure would violate HIPAA unless the individual gave an authorization to the ambulance company to allow the disclosure. And that's not likely to be easily obtained, since the individual will at least be in some distress, if not entirely unable to give such an authorization, and it would be impossible to get such an authorization in advance.

Hat tip: Marc Goldstone

Jeff [11:02 AM]

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