As part of the HIPAA rule, the health care providers are required to post in their office a full copy of their HIPAA Notice of their Privacy Practices (“Privacy Notice”). The Privacy Notice can be several pages long. Undoubtedly, the reprinting of the Privacy Notice in full scope can be an imposing wall hanging.
In January of this year new changes were announced to the HIPAA Rule. The changes will require revisions to provider’s HIPAA Notice of the Privacy Practices. To that end, providers will have to change the way the Privacy Notice was given to patients and hang it on their wall at the office.
Listen to this option offered by the Rule changes. In the preamble to the Rule amendment, it offers that providers may display a summary of their Privacy Notice rather than a full copy of the Privacy Notice, so long as a full copy of the Privacy Notice is immediately available. So for example, the Rule amendment suggests copies of the full Privacy Notice be available on a table directly under the summary of the Privacy Notice. A copy of the full Privacy Notice must be available to “pick-up” without “additional burden.” This means, as stated in the Rule again, that patients must not be required to ask the receptionist or staff for a full copy of the Privacy Notice.
But don’t get too zestful. There is no guidance or understanding about what constitutes a proper and acceptable summary of the Privacy Notice. Further, think about it. You have to print more copies. You have to make sure there are always copies of the full Privacy Notice available for immediate pick-up. One more thing you have to remember and to do. My suggestion: just hang the full Privacy Notice.
Trivia question: Where else should HIPAA privacy notices appear? Take the quiz.