(561) 627-1277 jeff@zanelaw.com

Protected Health Information Information

Palm Beach Attorney Jeff Zane On Health And The Law:

 

TAX TIDBIT: In businesses where profits are generated primarily by personal services typically all distributions are generally received through wages. If profits are driven more by capital and assets some of the distributions may come from other than wages. The latter would create a tax savings from decreasing medicare taxes due.

 

PHYSICIAN UPDATE

 

  • PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION ISSUE

 

HIPPA is the statutory framework that controls the dissemination of “protected health information”. It is important to remember that the Florida Statutes are even more stringent in some cases. In order to properly care for a practice’s patients this protected health information will have to be shared to complete the treatment and collection of compensation. This is allowed under the federal laws; but Florida requires that written authorization must be obtained from the patients to do anything other than the patient’s treatment. In other words to collect your compensation under Florida law you need to patient’s consent to disseminate the patient’s treatment and diagnosis to the payors.

 

HIPPA and the Florida Statutes require that each medical practice and provider establish security standards that provide security protection for each patients’ protected health and personal information. A Physicians’ practice is allowed to choose how to protect this information; but failure to provide security will cause punishment to be meted out to the practice and the Physician (see [HIPPA] 45 C.F.R. §164 and/or FIPA §507.171, Fla.Stat.).

 

Although Florida law doesn’t say much as to how to provide this security it does discuss the Physicians’ duty to report any breach of the security of the patients’ information and thereby joins HIPPA in discussing this topic. A breach means the disclosure in any manner, other than those permitted under Subpart E of HIPPA 45 CFR.402, of any protected health information.

 

Both FIPA and HIPPA require notice to government of a reportable breach. Some inadvertent disclosures are excusable; but any disclosure requires a physician to contact his/her lawyer to determine what course of action needs to be followed.

 

ASSET PROTECTION ISSUES

 

Talk to your attorney to discover what assets and types of ownership of assets provide asset protection from creditors. The frequently used estate planning tool of a doctor’s  revocable living trust does NOT provide asset protection. Keep individual businesses separate to protect the assets of one business from the creditors or another business. Physicians should discuss this issue with his/her lawyer.

 

CONTACT JEFFREY P. ZANE, ESQ. FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR LEGAL NEEDS – 561-627-1277 and jeff@zanelaw.com

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