Comment: One comment suggested that the Public Health Service Act places more stringent rules regarding the disclosure of information on Federally Qualified Health Centers than the proposed privacy regulation suggested. Therefore, the commenter suggested that the final rule exempt Federally Qualified Health Centers from the rules requirements
Response: We disagree. Congress expressly included Federally Qualified Health Centers, a provider of medical or other health services under the Social Security Act section 1861(s), within of its definition health care provider in section 1171 of the Act; therefore, we cannot exclude them from the regulation.
Comment: One commenter noted that no conflicts existed between the proposed rule and the Public Health Services Act.
Response: As we discuss in the "Relationship to Other Federal Laws" section of the preamble, the Public Health Service Act contains explicit confidentiality requirements that are so general as not to create problems of inconsistency. We recognized, however, that in some cases, that law or its accompanying regulations may contain greater restrictions. In those situations, a covered entity's ability to make what are permissive disclosures under this privacy regulation would be limited by those laws.