HCA releases confidentiality toolkit for providers

This week, the Health Care Authority (HCA) released the Washington State Confidentiality Toolkit for Providers, a resource for health care providers required to be compliant with HIPAA and other state laws (RCW 70.02 in particular).

Why did we create this toolkit?

HCA took inspiration from work done in Oregon to provide clear guidance to providers in plain language. The toolkit is a parallel resource to HCA’s Sharing Substance Use Disorder Information: A Guide for Washington State, with a focus on HIPAA and applicable state law. It will be updated as laws change and as input from stakeholders is received.

How do I use it?

As a health care provider, refer to the toolkit for an overview of confidentiality issues and perceived obstacles for providers, and to access links to additional information.

The toolkit includes:

  • Overview of HIPAA
  • Overview of state privacy laws, in particular RCW 70.02
  • Explanation of more protective state laws concerning mental health and sexually transmitted diseases
  • State breach notification laws
  • Chart summarizing Washington minor consent laws

Legal implications

This toolkit is not legal advice. It is not a substitute for reviewing the law or consulting an attorney. Regulations for confidentiality of health records are subject to change. Be sure to use this resource in conjunction with review of current statutes.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the toolkit, contact the HCA Privacy Office at privacyofficer@hca.wa.gov. Please note HCA staff cannot provide legal advice. The tool kit is a living document, which HCA plans to update periodically.

Thank you for your continued support of Washington’s health system and the services you provide.