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Know What Work Activities Do Not Require Patient Permission

Know What Work Activities Do Not Require Patient Permission - Departments & Programs, UW Hospital and Clinics, Compliance, Privacy, HIPAA, Privacy Rule

Focus

As just discussed, workers need to get patients' permission to do certain activities. However, there are many, many activities you can do with patient information that don't require permission. 

Workers Don't Need Permission to Do Everyday Health Care Activities (Also Called "TPO") 

Workers - especially clinical staff - should know HIPAA doesn't require patient permission for many everyday health care activities. HIPAA says that no patient permission is needed for you to perform the everyday functions of "Treatment," "Payment," and "health care Operations," which are together called "TPO."

HIPAA does not require permission for these everyday "TPO" activities. But once again, if you are already getting written permission for an activity - even a TPO activity - you must keep it up. Workers involved with TPO will receive additional HIPAA training. 

Workers Don't Need Permission to Do Certain Activities that Benefit the Public 

In addition to everyday/TPO activities, there are other activities workers can do without getting patients' permission. No patient permission is needed for the following activities, which all benefit the public.

It is important for workers - especially clinical staff - to know that these activities don't require permission. Please contact your supervisor or a HIPAA Privacy Officer if you have questions about TPO activities or activities that benefit the public (i.e., activities that don't require patient permission).