What to Do with Information: HIPAA and Confidentiality

Course Author: Lerrill White, M.S., M.Div., BCC, ACPE Supervisor

In 1996, the United States Congress passed The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA). This federal law was originally intended to establish three desired outcomes: a uniform standard for processing electronic healthcare claims and records across the United States; standards to protect the security of patient information; and privacy rules that all Healthcare Providers, Covered Entities, and Business Associates must follow. It is one of the most asked about and misunderstood issues in health care. This course, What to do with Information: HIPAA Compliance, gives a history of HIPAA, focuses on its implications of HIPAA for the health care industry, healthcare chaplains and spiritual care providers, and patients.

By the end of this course the learner will be able to:

  • Define the meaning of HIPAA and the purpose of the regulations
  • Articulate the history of the HIPAA Legislation
  • Identify ways HIPAA is applied to protect patient privacy
  • Understand the legalities and applications for health care providers
  • Understand the legalities and applications for health care participants/patients
  • Demonstrate the capacity for creating strategies for compliance for chaplains and Spiritual/Pastoral Care Departments
Course Outline
  1. What is HIPAA?
  2. History of HIPAA
  3. Who, What, and How of Privacy Rights
  4. HIPAA Myths
  5. How HIPAA Impacts Chaplains
  6. Lessons to Continue to Learn from HIPAA
  7. Summary
  8. Glossary of HIPAA Related Terms for Chaplains
  9. Resources
  10. References
Number of Continuing Education Hours: 20
Credit towards Board Certification Requirements: 1
Aligns with the following Quality Indicators in What is Quality Spiritual Care in Health Care and How Do You Measure It? (HCCN. 2016).
  • Structural Indicator 1.A. Chaplains as certified or credentialed spiritual care professional(s) are provided proportionate to the size and complexity of the unit served and officially recognized as integrated/embedded members of the clinical staff.
  • Process Indicator 2.B. All clients are offered the opportunity to have a discussion of religious/spiritual concerns.
  • Process Indicator 2.C. An assessment of religious, spiritual, and existential concerns using a structured instrument is developed and documented, and the information obtained from the assessment is integrated into the overall care plan.
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