NRPM: Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. d. Application to employees of the intelligence community.

11/03/1999

We propose to permit covered entities to disclose protected health information about individuals who are employees of the intelligence community (as defined in Section 4 of the National Security Act, 50 U.S.C. 401a), and their dependents, to intelligence community agencies without individual authorization when authorized by law.

This provision addresses the special circumstances of the national intelligence community. The preservation of national security depends to a large degree on the health and well-being of intelligence personnel. To determine fitness for duty, including eligibility for a security clearance, these agencies must have continued access to the complete health records of their employees. To ensure continued fitness for duty, it is critical that the these agencies have access to the entire medical record on a continuing basis. An incomplete medical file that excluded mental health information, for instance, could result in an improper job placement and a potential breach in security.

The term “intelligence community” is defined in section 4 of the National Security Act, 50 U.S.C. 401a, to include: the Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, which shall include the Office of the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, the National Intelligence Council (as provided for in 50 U.S.C. 403-5(b)(3) [1]), and such other offices as the Director may designate; the Central Intelligence Agency; the National Security Agency; the Defense Intelligence Agency; the National Imagery and Mapping Agency; the National Reconnaissance Office; other offices within the DOD for the collection of specialized national intelligence through reconnaissance programs; the intelligence elements of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Energy; the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the Department of State; and such other elements of any other department or agency as may be designated by the President, or designated jointly by the Director of Central Intelligence and the head of the department or agency concerned, as an element of the intelligence community.

We would permit covered entities to disclose protected health information concerning employees of the intelligence community and their dependents where authorized by law. The verification requirements of § 164.518(c) would apply to these disclosures.