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

11/03/1999

Checks that individuals use to pay for health care typically include the names of providers or provider groups that could implicitly identify the medical condition for which treatment was rendered. Similarly, a credit card transaction will also reveal the identify of the provider and thus potentially the nature of the medical condition involved. While such information would constitute protected health information under this rule, there is no practical way of concealing this information when the provider deposits the check or claims credit card payment. Failure to allow this kind of disclosure of protected health information would impede the efficient operations of the health care system.