HIPAA Misconceptions Create Patient Care Barrier for EMS at Hospitals – Importance of Bidirectional Communication

EMS providers commonly report information barriers at hospitals and other healthcare providers refusing to provide patient information due to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) concerns. Healthcare and emergency service providers are at a clear disadvantage without access to this information and HIPAA is making efforts to promote bidirectional data exchange between EMS and other providers allowing the opportunity to improve prehospital patient care.

To conclusively clarify these misconceptions, the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) Technical Assistance Center (TAC) collaborated with Page, Wolfberg & Wirth to provide an expert legal opinion. They have released and encourage the sharing the following informative PDF.

Imaginary Barriers: How HIPAA Promotes Bidirectional Patient Data Exchange With Emergency Medical Services provides evidence, precedence, and legal opinion to help educate and encourage healthcare providers to appropriately share patient information with EMS.  This paper addresses why HIPAA does not restrict, and how the law promotes, bidirectional sharing of patient information between hospitals and EMS agencies.

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