Patient Records Confidentiality

Any individually-identifiable patient record, including billing records, patient demographic information, appointment books, management information system reports, and any other material identifying patients is confidential and protected by the Privacy Act of 1974, the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations, 42 CFR part 2, and the Computer Security Act of 1987.  The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (August 21), Public Law 104-191, (also known as HIPAA) which amends the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986. Title II includes a section, known as "Administrative Simplification," requires:

  1. Improved efficiency in healthcare delivery by standardizing electronic data interchange, and
  2. Protection of confidentiality and security of health data through setting and enforcing standards.

Tribal employees, Federal Indian Health Service employees, volunteer workers, student interns, Tribal Work Experience Program (TWEP) workers, or youth workers employed by the service unit are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of such information accessible to them in the course of their work and are subject to penalties for knowingly or inadvertently violating regulations protecting patient information against unlawful disclosure.