PHI Transmission Policy

Purpose:         Establish Rules for Electronically Transmitted PHI

Violation of THIS POLICY can carry serious consequences.  Disciplinary actions for anyone violating this Policy may include suspension without pay or termination.

Receipt of PHI

Upon receipt of PHI transmitted to the Practice through an electronic transmission (i.e. facsimile, email, etc.), Practice Staff must make reasonable attempts to obtain the original documentation for inclusion in the individual’s record (unless such electronic transmission was requested by Practice Staff) or a signed statement certifying the information is true and correct.  Otherwise, PHI transmitted electronically is acceptable for inclusion in the individual’s record only if the sender, prior to transmission, authenticated the original document.  Practice Staff must document such authentication received and attach it to the copy.  The Practice will accept authorizations for release of PHI received via electronic transmission; however, Practice Staff must perform the verification procedure described in the Use and Disclosure Policy to confirm the authorization is valid and prepare documentation of such efforts to attach to the authorization.

Sending PHI

Electronic transmission of PHI must be performed in accordance with all Practice’s policies and procedures.  Generally, Practice Staff should attempt to deliver PHI using mail-delivered copies if practicable unless copies will not meet the needs of immediate patient care or such electronic format has been requested by an authorized person pursuant to Practice’s policies and procedures.  Routine disclosure of information to insurance companies, attorneys or other authorized persons should be made through regular mail or hand delivery service.  In cases of emergencies, documentation should be placed in the record to show that the need is urgent.  All electronic transmissions of PHI must be documented in the applicable record.  Prior to any transmission, Practice Staff must perform the verification procedure described in the Use and Disclosure Policy.  Once the requestor has been verified and it is determined the requestor is authorized to receive such information, the information may be transmitted using either the Limited Data Set or limited to the minimum necessary to meet the requestor’s needs as described in the Use and Disclosure Policy.

For email transmissions containing PHI, transmissions must be made only using software specially designed to ensure the security and encryption of such PHI.  PHI must never be transmitted utilizing generic, third-party email software (i.e. Gmail, Yahoo, etc.).  The Privacy Officer will ensure the Practice implements the appropriate email software necessary to comply with this policy.  Practice Staff must mark such email as “Confidential” and the subject line must include “Confidential,” “Proprietary,” or “Confidential: Unauthorized Use or Disclosure is Strictly Prohibited.”  For facsimile transmissions, reasonable efforts should be made to ensure PHI is sent to the appropriate destination.  Destination numbers should be pre-programmed into the fax machine, if possible, to eliminate errors in transmission from misdialing.

Every email transmission must append the following confidentiality notice indicating the information is confidential and limits its use and every facsimile must have a fax cover page that includes the confidentiality notice:

Confidentiality Notice

The information and documents accompanying this transmission contain confidential, protected health information belonging to Dr. Richard Ha, which is legally protected.  This information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above.  The authorized recipient of this information is prohibited from disclosing this information to any other party in violation of Federal or State law. 

If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken in reliance on the contents of these documents is strictly prohibited. Such unauthorized use is a violation of Federal and State law and will be reported as such. If you have received this transmission in error, immediately notify us to arrange for return or destruction of these documents.