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Patient Condition Information
Hospitals and health systems are responsible for protecting the privacy and confidentiality of their patients and patient information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) mandated regulations that govern privacy standards for health care information. HIPAA regulations specify the purposes for which information may and may not be released without authorization from the patient.
Under this law, individuals entering any ECU Health facility for any kind of treatment are given an opportunity to “opt in” or “opt out” of the patient directory.
If they “opt in,” Outer Banks Health is allowed to release a “one-word” condition (see below) about a patient’s status upon request from the media, but only if the patient’s first and last name is provided to the media relations staff.
If they “opt out,” or if a patient’s first and last name cannot be provided, no information can be released. In this case, HIPAA will not even allow us to acknowledge that the patient is or was at any Outer Banks Health facility.