HIPAA Medical Release Form Kentucky
A HIPAA Medical Release Form in Kentucky is required under certain circumstances. HIPAA regulations outline the uses and disclosures of PHI that require authorization from a patient/plan member before that person’s PHI can be shared or used.
HIPAA authorization forms in Kentucky are required before:
- The covered entity can use or disclose PHI whose use or disclosure is otherwise not permitted by the HIPAA Privacy Rule
- The covered entity can use or disclose PHI for marketing purposes. If the marketing communication involves direct or indirect remuneration to the covered entity from a third party, the authorization must state that such remuneration is involved.
The law requires that a HIPAA release form in Kentucky contain specific “core elements” to be valid.
These elements include:
- A description of the specific information to be used or disclosed.
- The name or other specific identification of the person(s), or class of persons, authorized to make the requested use or disclosure.
- The name or other specific identification of any third parties (persons or classes of persons) to whom the covered entity may make the requested use or disclosure.
- A description of each purpose of the requested use or disclosure.
- An expiration date or an expiration event that relates to the individual or the purpose of the use or disclosure.
- The signature of the individual, and the date.
Kentucky Data Breach Notification Law
Kentucky data breach notification law requires breached organizations to report the incident. Entities that are subject to HIPAA and report incidents following HIPAA standards also meet the requirements of the Kentucky data breach notification law, with a minor exception on timing.
The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule requires healthcare organizations to report breaches compromising the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of protected health information.
Incidents that are considered reportable breaches include:
- Hacking or IT incidents
- Unauthorized access or disclosure of PHI
- Theft or loss of an unencrypted device with access to PHI
- Improper disposal of medical records
When a patient’s PHI is potentially affected by one of these incidents, the affected patient must be informed within 60 days of discovery. Breach notification letters must be mailed to affected patients. If ten or more patients cannot be reached by mail, a substitute notice must be available on the organization’s website. If the incident affected 500 or more patients, the breached organization must notify media outlets to ensure that all affected patients are aware of the incident.
Breach notification requirements to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) differ depending on how many patients are affected by the incident.
- Breaches affecting 1 – 499 patients: organizations must keep an account of any breach involving less than 500 patients over the calendar year. Organizations have 60 days from the end of the calendar year the breach occurred to report these incidents to the HHS – March 1st.
- Breaches affecting 500+ patients: any incident that affected 500 or more patients must be reported to the HHS within 60 days of discovering the incident. These incidents are posted on the OCR’s online breach portal.
The only difference in HIPAA regulations in Kentucky is the state’s breach notification requirements. In Kentucky, “Notice should occur in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay, subject to the legitimate needs of law enforcement or any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach and restore the reasonable integrity of the data system.” However, what expedient means here is not defined. Many other states follow a “45-day rule” for reporting breaches.
According to the Kentucky Data Breach Notification Law, consumer reporting agencies and credit bureaus must also be notified if 1,000 or more Kentucky state residents are affected by a breach.
How to Report a HIPAA Violation in Kentucky
How do I report a HIPAA Violation in Kentucky? Organizations must give employees the means to report suspected HIPAA violations anonymously. Your HIPAA compliance officer should then investigate these incidents. The compliance officer will determine whether or not further action must be taken. If the compliance officer determines that the incident is potentially a violation or related to a breach, HHS must be notified.
Most HIPAA violations occur when healthcare organizations fail to conduct accurate and thorough risk assessments, provide patients timely access to their medical records, have signed business associate agreements, or report breaches promptly.