Businesses that collect and share an individual’s health-care information must maintain compliance with both the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act, the HHS and the FTC said.
Oct. 21 guidance published by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Civil Rights and the Federal Trade Commission stated that businesses must ensure that disclosure statements provided to consumers regarding the use of their health-care information isn’t deceptive under the FTC Act.
Before a business drafts a disclosure statement, or discloses protected health-care information, they must first obtain permission from the consumer through a valid HIPAA authorization and from the covered entity if they are a business associate. The HIPAA privacy rule, which applies to both covered entities and business associates, requires that covered entities must give business associates authorization through a business associate agreement before they use or disclose health information.
In many cases, businesses subject to HIPAA are also subject to the FTC Act. Under the FTC Act, businesses are prohibited from engaging in deceptive or unfair acts or practices in or affecting commerce. Prohibited practices include providing consumers with false or misleading claims related to the privacy and security of their health information, both generally and with mobile health apps.
The application of health privacy rules to health information on mobile devices, including apps and fitness trackers, has gained the attention of federal regulators and Congress as they become more mainstream. (See related story, Government Takes Steps on Privacy in Mobile Health Apps.)
The agencies offered tips to help businesses ensure that their disclosure statements are in compliance with the FTC Act:
Gain access to the most reliable source for comprehensive pension and benefits and executive compensation research with a free trial to the Benefits Practice Resource Center.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)