Explosive growth in digital health over the last few years means there are many developers and managers who haven’t worked under HIPAA before. This guide is written for startups (and small businesses operating online) who could use some help with the basics of HIPAA compliance.
As used in this subpart, the following terms have the following meanings:
Correctional institution means any penal or correctional facility, jail, reformatory, detention center, work farm, halfway house, or residential community program center operated by, or under contract to, the United States, a State, a territory, a political subdivision of a State or territory, or an Indian tribe, for the confinement or rehabilitation of persons charged with or convicted of a criminal offense or other persons held in lawful custody. Other persons held in lawful custody includes juvenile offenders adjudicated delinquent, aliens detained awaiting deportation, persons committed to mental institutions through the criminal justice system, witnesses, or others awaiting charges or trial.
Data aggregation means, with respect to protected health information created or received by a business associate in its capacity as the business associate of a covered entity, the combining of such protected health information by the business associate with the protected health information received by the business associate in its capacity as a business associate of another covered entity, to permit data analyses that relate to the health care operations of the respective covered entities.
Designated record set means:
(1) A group of records maintained by or for a covered entity that is:
(i) The medical records and billing records about individuals maintained by or for a covered health care provider;
(ii) The enrollment, payment, claims adjudication, and case or medical management record systems maintained by or for a health plan; or
(iii) Used, in whole or in part, by or for the covered entity to make decisions about individuals.
(2) For purposes of this paragraph, the term record means any item, collection, or grouping of information that includes protected health information and is maintained, collected, used, or disseminated by or for a covered entity.
Direct treatment relationship means a treatment relationship between an individual and a health care provider that is not an indirect treatment relationship.
Health care operations means any of the following activities of the covered entity to the extent that the activities are related to covered functions:
(1) Conducting quality assessment and improvement activities, including outcomes evaluation and development of clinical guidelines, provided that the obtaining of generalizable knowledge is not the primary purpose of any studies resulting from such activities; patient safety activities (as defined in 42 CFR 3.20); population-based activities relating to improving health or reducing health care costs, protocol development, case management and care coordination, contacting of health care providers and patients with information about treatment alternatives; and related functions that do not include treatment;
(2) Reviewing the competence or qualifications of health care professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, health plan performance, conducting training programs in which students, trainees, or practitioners in areas of health care learn under supervision to practice or improve their skills as health care providers, training of non-health care professionals, accreditation, certification, licensing, or credentialing activities;
(3) Except as prohibited under § 164.502(a)(5)(i), underwriting, enrollment, premium rating, and other activities related to the creation, renewal, or replacement of a contract of health insurance or health benefits, and ceding, securing, or placing a contract for reinsurance of risk relating to claims for health care (including stop-loss insurance and excess of loss insurance), provided that the requirements of § 164.514(g) are met, if applicable;
(4) Conducting or arranging for medical review, legal services, and auditing functions, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs;
(5) Business planning and development, such as conducting cost-management and planning- related analyses related to managing and operating the entity, including formulary development and administration, development or improvement of methods of payment or coverage policies; and
(6) Business management and general administrative activities of the entity, including, but not limited to:
(i) Management activities relating to implementation of and compliance with the requirements of this subchapter;
(ii) Customer service, including the provision of data analyses for policy holders, plan sponsors, or other customers, provided that protected health information is not disclosed to such policy holder, plan sponsor, or customer.
(iii) Resolution of internal grievances;
(iv) The sale, transfer, merger, or consolidation of all or part of the covered entity with another covered entity, or an entity that following such activity will become a covered entity and due diligence related to such activity; and
(v) Consistent with the applicable requirements of § 164.514, creating de-identified health information or a limited data set, and fundraising for the benefit of the covered entity.
Health oversight agency means an agency or authority of the United States, a State, a territory, a political subdivision of a State or territory, or an Indian tribe, or a person or entity acting under a grant of authority from or contract with such public agency, including the employees or agents of such public agency or its contractors or persons or entities to whom it has granted authority, that is authorized by law to oversee the health care system (whether public or private) or government programs in which health information is necessary to determine eligibility or compliance, or to enforce civil rights laws for which health information is relevant.
Indirect treatment relationship means a relationship between an individual and a health care provider in which:
(1) The health care provider delivers health care to the individual based on the orders of another health care provider; and
(2) The health care provider typically provides services or products, or reports the diagnosis or results associated with the health care, directly to another health care provider, who provides the services or products or reports to the individual.
Inmate means a person incarcerated in or otherwise confined to a correctional institution.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this definition, marketing means to make a communication about a product or service that encourages recipients of the communication to purchase or use the product or service.
(2) Marketing does not include a communication made:
(i) To provide refill reminders or otherwise communicate about a drug or biologic that is currently being prescribed for the individual, only if any financial remuneration received by the covered entity in exchange for making the communication is reasonably related to the covered entity's cost of making the communication.
(ii) For the following treatment and health care operations purposes, except where the covered entity receives financial remuneration in exchange for making the communication:
(A) For treatment of an individual by a health care provider, including case management or care coordination for the individual, or to direct or recommend alternative treatments, therapies, health care providers, or settings of care to the individual;
(B) To describe a health-related product or service (or payment for such product or service) that is provided by, or included in a plan of benefits of, the covered entity making the communication, including communications about: the entities participating in a health care provider network or health plan network; replacement of, or enhancements to, a health plan; and health-related products or services available only to a health plan enrollee that add value to, but are not part of, a plan of benefits; or
(C) For case management or care coordination, contacting of individuals with information about treatment alternatives, and related functions to the extent these activities do not fall within the definition of treatment.
(3) Financial remuneration means direct or indirect payment from or on behalf of a third party whose product or service is being described. Direct or indirect payment does not include any payment for treatment of an individual.
(1) The activities undertaken by:
(i) Except as prohibited under § 164.502(a)(5)(i), a health plan to obtain premiums or to determine or fulfill its responsibility for coverage and provision of benefits under the health plan; or
(ii) A health care provider or health plan to obtain or provide reimbursement for the provision of health care; and
(2) The activities in paragraph (1) of this definition relate to the individual to whom health care is provided and include, but are not limited to:
(i) Determinations of eligibility or coverage (including coordination of benefits or the determination of cost sharing amounts), and adjudication or subrogation of health benefit claims;
(ii) Risk adjusting amounts due based on enrollee health status and demographic characteristics;
(iii) Billing, claims management, collection activities, obtaining payment under a contract for reinsurance (including stop-loss insurance and excess of loss insurance), and related health care data processing;
(iv) Review of health care services with respect to medical necessity, coverage under a health plan, appropriateness of care, or justification of charges;
(v) Utilization review activities, including precertification and preauthorization of services, concurrent and retrospective review of services; and
(vi) Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies of any of the following protected health information relating to collection of premiums or reimbursement:
(A) Name and address;
(B) Date of birth;
(C) Social security number;
(D) Payment history;
(E) Account number; and
(F) Name and address of the health care provider and/or health plan.
Psychotherapy notes means notes recorded (in any medium) by a health care provider who is a mental health professional documenting or analyzing the contents of conversation during a private counseling session or a group, joint, or family counseling session and that are separated from the rest of the individual's medical record. Psychotherapy notes excludes medication prescription and monitoring, counseling session start and stop times, the modalities and frequencies of treatment furnished, results of clinical tests, and any summary of the following items: Diagnosis, functional status, the treatment plan, symptoms, prognosis, and progress to date.
Public health authority means an agency or authority of the United States, a State, a territory, a political subdivision of a State or territory, or an Indian tribe, or a person or entity acting under a grant of authority from or contract with such public agency, including the employees or agents of such public agency or its contractors or persons or entities to whom it has granted authority, that is responsible for public health matters as part of its official mandate.
Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.
Treatment means the provision, coordination, or management of health care and related services by one or more health care providers, including the coordination or management of health care by a health care provider with a third party; consultation between health care providers relating to a patient; or the referral of a patient for health care from one health care provider to another.
[65 FR 82802, Dec. 28, 2000, as amended at 67 FR 53266, Aug. 14, 2002; 68 FR 8381, Feb. 20, 2003; 74 FR 42769, Aug. 24, 2009; 78 FR 5695, Jan. 25, 2013]