HHS Gets Fundraising Guidance
Health Data Management (September 15, 2004)

An advisory committee to the Department of Health and Human Services has issued recommendations on how provider organizations should conduct fundraising operations in light of the HIPAA privacy rule. The recommendations from the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics are:
* HHS should allow covered entities and institutionally related foundations to use information related to the patient’s department of service for fundraising activities without the requirement to secure a patient’s authorization.

* Department of service information should apply only to broad designations (e.g. surgery, oncology, but not narrower designations), and the privacy rule should retain the prohibitions on disclosure of information relating to diagnosis and treating physician.

* The covered entity’s notice of privacy practices should inform patients that their department of service information may be used in fundraising, and patients should be afforded the opportunity to decline to permit their department of service information to be disclosed for fundraising or to opt out of all fundraising contacts.

Full text of the committee’s letter of recommendations is available at www.ncvhs.hhs.gov.

Posted to HIPAAcomply 9/15/04