What does HIPAA say about employees who become patients?

Health system employees often become patients of the healthcare entity, creating blurred lines for a health system regarding if and when it can access employees' medical records. 

But, according to a JD Supra report, HIPAA laws do not apply to employment records held by a healthcare entity. However, individually identifiable health information maintained or transmitted by a covered entity in its healthcare capacity are treated as protected health information. 

Here are three things healthcare providers should know about employee medical records:

1. If the records a healthcare entity needs to obtain are medical records of their employee, then HIPAA exceptions would apply.

2. A HIPAA-covered entity is only allowed to use or disclose protected health information for treatment, payment or healthcare operations.

3. If a health system needs to look into an employee's medical record, it must do so for an extremely limited purpose, as listed by the "healthcare operations exception."

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