OCR Clarifies HIPAA’s Refill Reminder Exception

HHS’ Office for Civil Rights has issued new guidance on the refill reminder exception to HIPAA, clarifying rules about communicating with patients about prescription refills and distributing information about drugs currently prescribed, according to a report in Lexology.

HIPAA generally requires covered entities obtain patient consent before the patient’s health or personal information is disclosed for marketing purposes. To qualify for the retail exception, the communication must be solely about a pharmaceutical currently prescribed to the patient, and any money made off the communication must be reasonably close to the pharmacy’s cost of disseminating it, according to the report.

Additionally, the guidance describes extensions for obtaining consent to receive communications from patients currently enrolled in certain programs at pharmacies who have not expressly consented to or who have declined receiving communication funded by drug manufacturers. HIPAA-covered pharmacies have until the patient contacts the pharmacy to refill a prescription, or until Sept. 23, 2014, to obtain consent, according to the report.

More Articles on HIPAA:

HHS Delays HIPAA Enforcement for Certain Laboratories
New HHS Website Explains, Advocates for "Meaningful" Patient Consent for Data Exchange
17 Days Until HIPAA: Key Changes and Must-Take Steps for Every Provider

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