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HIPAA Q&A: Information between school and medical unit

Q. We have a medical unit for a pediatric population. This campus includes a school for educating the children. How do we transmit information between the school and the medical unit without violating HIPAA?

A. You may provide information to the school without patient/parent authorization if the school is providing healthcare services to the patient as part of the treatment process. Otherwise, you should obtain authorization from the child’s legal representative to release PHI to the school if school officials don’t need this information for ongoing care.

Editor’s note: Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, a nationally recognized expert on patient privacy, information security, and regulatory compliance, answered this question. She is associate executive director of HIM at Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, TX. Advice given is general. Readers should consult professional counsel for specific legal, ethical, or clinical questions.