“Can I share information about a patient with their family?” “What if it is an emergency?”
Have you had these questions? Whether a provider or a patient, the HIPAA Privacy rule covers what information can be shared.
In short, the answer is “Yes”. The HIPAA Privacy Rule at 45 CFR 164.510(b) specifically permits covered entities to share information that is directly relevant to the involvement of a spouse, family members, friends, or other persons identified by a patient, in the patient’s care or payment for health care. If the patient is present or otherwise available and agrees to the disclosure of the inforamtion the provider can discuss information with the family and other persons. If the patient is incapacitated or not present due to emergency circumstances, a provider may share information with family or other persons if, in their best judgment, it is in the best interest of the patient to do so. For more information from HHS about this matter, click here.