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Is ZVRS covered under HIPAA? Does it protect PII and PHI? What is HIPAA? What is PHI and PII?

Is ZVRS covered under HIPAA? Does it protect PII and PHI? What is HIPAA? What is PHI and PII?

ZVRS is not a covered entity under HIPAA (a health care provider, health insurer, or health care “clearinghouse”) nor does ZVRS maintain health records of any sort. As such, the short answer is that HIPAA, PHI, and PII are not applicable to ZVRS.

ZVRS’s VIs are trained to be dial tones (communication facilitators) and nothing more. They keep no records (except temporarily for 911 calls), and are absolutely prohibited from disclosing the contents of any calls. It is up to the doctor/insurer/health care provider on a VRS call to make sure that they are HIPAA compliant and not at odds with the law. ZVRS’s video interpreters are strictly bound by the confidentiality requirements of Section 705 of the Communications Act.

What is HIPAA? It is an acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. It allows people like you to carry their health information from job to job and also makes sure all information is the same (forms and codes). Because there is increased risk about making information about your health public, it has protections built in to protect the information.

What is PHI? Protected Health Information is made up of all forms of health information: oral, electronic, print, and video – everything from hallway conversations to e-mails.

What is PII? PII Is Personally Identifiable Information which is information about a person–his/her name, social security number, date of birth and so forth.

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