What is HIPAA?
What is HIPAA?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that all protected health information be kept private and secure by all persons that handle, or have access to, that information (see HIPPA Compliance Manual at http://sites.austincc.edu/hipaa/)
Since the Human Services students use protected health information as part of the educational process, all Human Services Intern students must annually complete an online training module to remain in compliance with HIPAA regulations. Students are not allowed to enter the Internship until this training has been completed.
Any violations of HIPAA regulations will result in disciplinary actions up to and including withdrawal from the program depending on the severity of the violation. Learn more below.
HIPAA Breach Notification Process
If a breach occurs, the Event Notification Form must be completed within three working days and distributed as follows:
- Covered Entity (clinical site/facility)
- HIPAA Privacy Officer
- Program/Department of HIPAA File
Violations and sanctions can be applicable to the program and the individual involved. The involved Program/Department follows the progressive discipline policy in the Student Handbook that addresses student confidentiality violations.
Respecting the privacy of others is a standard for all students in the Human Services field. Each student is expected to safeguard the implicit trust between the college and clients that they may be working with during Internships as well as any volunteer or field placements.
Examples of HIPAA Violations:
- Any unauthorized release of patient-related information or photocopying of patient records.
- Taking photos of clients.
- Posting/revealing information on social-media sites.
- Removing client records from the program/facility.
- Allowing unauthorized persons to view client files.
- Talking about client files with anyone other than the therapeutic team.
Confidentiality must be maintained at all times in accordance with HIPPA regulations.
Faculty of Austin Community College and Human Services Department Program have an academic, legal and ethical responsibility to protect members of the public from unsafe or unprofessional practices. Human Services students, while representing Austin Community College at any agency, must conduct themselves in an ethical, professional, and safe manner. Students are expected to assume responsibility for their actions and will be held accountable for them. Students will abide by ACC and agency policies during each experience. Failure to adhere to program specific policies related to professional behavior or safe clinical practice may result in the use of the Discipline Policy outlined in the Student Handbook.
Ethics and Confidentiality
Students must remember that the information concerning clients is confidential. Students are required to adhere to legal and ethical standards as established by regulatory agencies and professional standards. Failure to comply with the above is cause for immediate dismissal from the program.