Patient’s Guide to HIPAA – Basic Rights: What is the Right to Request Restrictions on Uses and Disclosures?
You are reading the Patient’s Guide to HIPAA, FAQ 51 .
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FAQ 51: What is the Right to Request Restrictions on Uses and Disclosures?
The right to request restrictions is the least meaningful of the seven HIPAA patient rights. A covered entity must allow a patient to request a restriction on the uses or disclosures of the patient’s information to carry out treatment, payment, or health care operations. A patient can also ask for a restriction on disclosures to a family member, relative, or close personal friend. However, there’s a new element that came with the 2013 changes. You have the firm right to demand (not just request) that a provider not disclose PHI to a health plan if the disclosure is for treatment or payment, the disclosure isn’t required by law, and if the PHI pertains solely to health care for which the patient (or someone on behalf of the patient) paid in full. We’ll explain that new option in the next FAQ. It’s well-intentioned but very messy to use.
You can read later in this document about the scope of permissible uses and disclosures for treatment, payment, and health care operations. (See FAQs 56 & 57.) No covered entity needs your consent to make disclosures for those purposes. Health care operations is a particularly broad term that includes many activities that are in the interest of the covered entity and not necessarily in the interest of the patient.
Roadmap: Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: Part 2: Basic Patient Rights: Right to Request Restrictions on Uses and Disclosures (FAQ 51 of 65)