HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was enacted to ensure that a patient’s health information (PHI) is protected in a consistent and secure manner by all health professionals. The most relevant section for nutrition private practices is Title II, or the Administrative Simplification provisions. Title II focuses on maintaining the privacy and security of PHI and setting guidelines for how health information may be shared and sent electronically.
Personal Health Information is data that a health professional collects from a patient that could potentially be used to identify them – a patient’s name, Social Security number, and phone number are all considered PHI. If you deal with PHI (which every dietitian does in order to keep in touch with their clients), being HIPAA compliant ensures that PHI is protected, and also can help prevent legal trouble and fines.
Here at Healthie, we suggest that every practitioner has a HIPAA Agreement in place for every client to sign before or at their first session.
Here is an example you can download to use for your practice.