Protected health information (PHI) is personal identifiable health data that HIPAA manages and protects. It includes any information in a medical record that can identify a person and that was created or disclosed to a covered entity while providing a health care service such as a treatment or a diagnosis. This blog post will look at what protected health information is.
Examples of PHI
PHI includes a combination of personally identifiable information (PII) and health information. It also consists of an individual’s physical or mental health condition at any point in time. Some concrete examples of PHI information include:
- Patient names
- Any type of dates
- Telephone numbers
- Email addresses
- Medical record numbers
- Driver’s license information
- Account numbers
- Names of relatives
- Health plan beneficiary numbers
- Biometric identifiers such as finger and voice prints
In fact, PHI can show up in numerous documents, communications, and forms. They come in an MRI scan, phone records, billing information from your doctor, blood test results, or through an appointment scheduling note with your doctor’s office.
Examples of Information Not to Be PHI
However, not all personally identifiable information is protected health information. For instance, some health information is not PHI because it isn’t personally identifiable or linked with a covered entity. Some examples of non-PHI data include the number of calories a person burns, the number of steps in a pedometer, blood sugar readings without personally identifiable information, and heart rate readings without PII.
Pointers for Ensuring PHI Integrity
Personal information leaks can and will occur. Devices containing PHI can be lost or stolen. In addition, accidental disclosures or failure to destroy confidential documents also represent wrongdoing. As a result, that leads to nothing good for everyone in and out of the business.
Legally, employers are obligated to discuss PHI with every one of their employees. Also, making privacy protocols around documents is critical. In addition, constantly train your staff to understand and implement said rules. Lastly, make sure that hard drives containing sensitive information are adequately encrypted against possible intrusion.
Get Your Voluntary, Supplemental, and Health Insurance Policies with the MWE Partnership!
Are you a business looking to provide your employees with essential voluntary benefits? If so, look no further than The MWE Partnership. When you choose The MWE Partnership, you get experienced service and comprehensive voluntary benefit options that will meet all your employees’ needs. With over 17 years of experience, The MWE Partnership is your go-to provider for all your supplemental benefit needs. If you are interested in finding out how The MWE Partnership can help your business, contact us today! We encourage you to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest voluntary benefit news!