Melissa M. Martin, RHIA, CCS, CHTS-IM, President/Chair of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Board of Directors, will deliver testimony today on HIPAA and the Minimum Necessary Requirements. She will testify before the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics Privacy, Confidentiality, and Security Subcommittee. To frame this testimony, AHIMA solicited comments from privacy and security professionals about the issues and challenges they face in achieving compliance in today’s healthcare environment. Here is a statement from Martin regarding the testimony she plans to deliver later today.
“More than a decade since enactment of the minimum necessary standard, confusion around compliance still exists throughout the industry. A clear definition of ‘minimum necessary’ must be developed in future guidance. This includes establishing distinct, objective criteria that would enable stakeholders to meet the minimum necessary standard. An updated definition also could include differing levels of minimum necessary that are dependent on specific identifiers.
“In addition, future guidance on the minimum necessary standard should take into account: the role of metadata, technological capabilities and limitations, and enhanced focus on the patient’s needs. Improved standardization will allow patients to have an expectation from all data holders that personal health information will not be used or disclosed when it is not necessary to satisfy a particular purpose or carry out a related function. In updating guidance on minimum necessary standards, educational resources for healthcare professionals and patients alike should be created.”
In addition to serving as chair/president of the AHIMA Board, Martin is associate vice president at the West Virginia University Heart and Vascular Institute.