News Headlines Article

‘Out of pocket’ rule a technical challenge
Modern Healthcare

One potentially nettlesome provision of the new omnibus federal healthcare privacy rule involves patient consent rights over the disclosure of their medical information if they self-pay. The 563-page rule published last month by HHS devotes more than 20 pages to explaining a new provision.

The rule says that if a patient pays a provider for a healthcare treatment or service “out of pocket,” the patient can request and the provider or other HIPAA-covered entity must comply with the request, not to disclose a record of that encounter or service to his or her insurance company, or even a business associate of the health plan, for payment or other healthcare operations.