NRPM: Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. iii. Persons who may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease.

11/03/1999

The proposed rule would allow disclosure to a person who could have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition and is authorized by law to be notified as necessary in the conduct of a public health intervention or investigation. Physicians, in carrying out public health interventions authorized by law, can notify persons who have been exposed to a communicable disease, or who otherwise may be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition. That notification may implicitly or explicitly reveal the identity of the individual with the disease to which the person could have been exposed, but should be permitted as a disclosure in the course of a legally authorized public health intervention or investigation. The proposed rule would not (and, under the HIPAA legislative authority, cannot) impose a confidentiality obligation on the person notified.