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Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule strictly prohibit the use, disclosure, or request of an entire medical record? If not, are case-by-case justifications required each time the entire medical record is disclosed?


No. The Privacy Rule does not prohibit the use, disclosure, or request of an entire medical record; and a covered entity may use, disclose, or request an entire medical record without a case-by-case justification, if the covered entity has documented in its policies and procedures that the entire medical record is the amount reasonably necessary for certain identified purposes.

For uses, the policies and procedures would identify those persons or classes of person in the workforce that need to see the entire medical record and the conditions, if any, that are appropriate for such access. Policies and procedures for routine disclosures and requests and the criteria used for non-routine disclosures and requests would identify the circumstances under which disclosing or requesting the entire medical record is reasonably necessary for particular purposes.The Privacy Rule does not require that a justification be provided with respect to each distinct medical record.

Finally, no justification is needed in those instances where the minimum necessary standard does not apply, such as disclosures to or requests by a health care provider for treatment purposes or disclosures to the individual who is the subject of the protected health information.



Date Created: 12/19/2002

Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on July 26, 2013