HHS Guidance on Same-sex Marriage and HIPAA Privacy Compliance

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HHS Guidance on Same-sex Marriage and HIPAA Privacy Compliance

HHS Guidance on Same-sex Marriage and HIPAA Privacy Compliance

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Blog News

In order to clear up any misunderstandings surrounding the 2013 Supreme Court decision in regards to how the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) affects HIPAA Privacy Rule compliance, we have gathered all the must-know information for your convenience.

To explain how the 2013 Supreme Court decision will affect the HIPAA Privacy Rule in regards to the Defense of Marriage ACT (DOMA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance. Since certain provisions under the HIPAA Privacy Rule left confusion regarding the interpretation of certain terms in regards to same-sex marriage, clearer definitions have been provided.

Since the HIPAA Privacy Rule provides family members with the ability to retrieve information regarding patient care in specific situations, it was important that these terms were more clearly defined. The term spouse, refers to anyone who is legally married, whether they are both the same sex or of opposite sex. The term marriage refers to any legal matrimony, whether the marriage is same-sex or opposite-sex. The term family member refers to any dependents of those marriages. These terms apply to all individuals who have a legal marriage, even if they do not live in or receive services in a location that recognizes the marriage.

In clarifying these terms, the HIPAA Privacy Rule will allow individuals and families of varying circumstances to avoid discrimination.

Please do not hesitate to give us a call if you have any remaining questions regarding HHS Guidance on same-sex marriage and HIPAA Privacy Compliance. Serving Goleta, Santa Barbara, and surrounding cities, contact Brown & Brown Insurance Services of California, Inc., for all of your insurance needs. Our pristine attention to detail will allow you to feel confident in your security.