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DHHS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

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Section VIII:

Privacy and Security

Title:

Privacy Manual

Chapter:

Administrative Policies, Privacy Official

Current Effective Date:

2/1/16, 5/1/05

Revision History:

4/14/03, 11/15/15

Original Effective Date:

4/14/03

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Purpose

The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires the designation of personnel who are responsible for the implementation of privacy policies and procedures, as well as personnel who are responsible for receiving complaints and answering questions concerning privacy.

DHHS, as a hybrid entity, must designate a privacy officer who is responsible for the coordination and implementation of all privacy and confidentiality efforts within the department. In addition, DHHS has determined that the department agencies that are defined in the purpose section of this policy must each designate a privacy official to act as the primary point of contact for the privacy of health information that is used within or disclosed outside of that agency. The DHHS Privacy Officer and Agency Privacy Officials are responsible for the coordination and facilitation of compliance activities associated with departmental privacy policies.

Policy

DHHS and its agencies, as defined in the purpose section of this policy, shall ensure the privacy and confidentiality of that information by designating department and agency privacy officials to provide the oversight of the use and disclosure of health information.

Implementation

The DHHS Privacy Officer shall oversee all activities related to the development, maintenance and adherence to department policies regarding the use and disclosure of individually identifiable health information, in accordance with state and federal laws as well as best business practices.

The responsibilities of the DHHS Privacy Officer shall also include, but are not limited to, the following:

The individual Agency Privacy Officials shall guide all agency activities related to adherence to DHHS privacy policies regarding the use and disclosure of individually identifiable health information, in accordance with state and federal laws, best business practices, and under the direction of the DHHS Privacy Officer.

Agency Privacy Official responsibilities shall also include, but are not limited to, the following:

DHHS agencies are responsible for ensuring agency compliance with department privacy policies. The following are some of the agency requirements in which the Agency Privacy Official may participate:

The DHHS Privacy Officer is designated by the Secretary of the DHHS. The DHHS Privacy Officer shall maintain the list of all agency privacy officials within the department.

Each agency defined in the purpose section of this policy shall designate a staff member to serve as the agency privacy official. These designees may have other primary job functions in addition to privacy responsibilities. The privacy officer will work closely with the HIPAA Coordinator when there is an incident investigation or breach involving HIPAA data.

Organizationally, privacy officials report to their supervisor within the agency. Agency privacy officials shall have an indirect reporting relationship to the DHHS Privacy Officer for privacy-related activities only. Upon request from the agency supervisor, the DHHS Privacy Officer shall provide input into the agency privacy official’s annual performance evaluation as applicable to privacy-related activities.

For questions or clarification on any of the information contained in this policy, please contact DHHS Privacy Officer. For general questions about department-wide policies and procedures, contact the DHHS Policy Coordinator.

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