NRPM: Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. a. Importance of emergency response and the need for protected health information

11/03/1999

Circumstances could arise that are not otherwise covered in the rules proposed in §§ 164.510(b) and 164.510(f) for law enforcement and public health, where covered entities may need to disclose protected health information to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat of harm to persons or the public. Persons at risk include the individual who is the subject of the protected health information as well as others. Through their professional activities, covered entities, particularly health care providers, may obtain information that leads them to believe that an individual is at risk of harm to him or herself, or poses a threat to others. This information could be needed by emergency and first responders (including law enforcement officials) to deal with or prevent an emergency situation posing a serious and imminent threat of harm to such persons or the public.