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HIPAA

As a licensed and certified physician in the State of Alabama, we must handle Private Health Information  (PHI) with great care.  You should be made aware that the Federal government protects the security of this information with the exception of their interests in being able to use this information for their own purposes.  We are of the opinion that the most recent National Health Care Program along with the ability of storing and processing an infinite amount of information has set into motion a system to control and govern its subjects in what it believes to be our own best interests.  We will make all reasonable efforts in the safe handling of this information.  The Federal government wants access to this information through the imposition of required electronic billing of claims and data sharing.  All physicians are required to upgrade their software systems and internet connections in an effort to do this.  The physician has been targeted to be the resource portal to know more about you.  By seeing a physician, understand that at some time in the near future, EVEN MORE private information will be accessible to the Federal government.

Our concern as a physician, however, in the management of this office is to protect the following information from being shared, seen, or used in any way by private entities.  You can request certain information to be shared, but this must be requested in the form of a release that we keep on file to prove that we are preserving and protecting this information in your  interests. 

The following list has been determined to be the identifiers in our current society that are used to prove identity and are at risk of being stolen or used inappropriately.

Under the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), PHI that is linked based on the following list of 18 identifiers must be treated with special care:[1]

  1. Names
  2. All geographical identifiers smaller than a state, except for the initial three digits of a zip code if, according to the current publicly available data from the Bureau of the Census: the geographic unit formed by combining all zip codes with the same three initial digits contains more than 20,000 people; and [t]he initial three digits of a zip code for all such geographic units containing 20,000 or fewer people is changed to 000
  3. Dates (other than year) directly related to an individual
  4. Phone numbers
  5. Fax numbers
  6. Email addresses
  7. Social Security numbers
  8. Medical record numbers
  9. Health insurance beneficiary numbers
  10. Account numbers
  11. Certificate/license numbers
  12. Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers, including license plate numbers;
  13. Device identifiers and serial numbers;
  14. Web Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)
  15. Internet Protocol (IP) address numbers
  16. Biometric identifiers, including finger, retinal and voice prints
  17. Full face photographic images and any comparable images
  18. Any other unique identifying number, characteristic, or code except the unique code assigned by the investigator to code the data