A Confidentiality Reminder
It is of upmost importance to ensure the protection of an individual’s medical information. Several laws address the need to ensure this confidentiality. HIPAA, for example, addresses protected health information derived from covered entities. The Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as the Family and Medical Leave Act, also require that medical information be handled with the upmost care. This issue was highlighted in a recent informal Letter issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Letter specifically relates to the Rehabilitation Act, but is equally applicable for ADA purposes.
In summary, the Letter re-emphasizes that only those with a “need to know” should ever have access to an employee’s medical information. The Letter sets out several best practices to ensure the confidentiality of medical information. This would be good reading for anyone responsible for ensuring the confidentiality of medical information (click here to access the Letter).
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