What about HIPAA?
The following are the reasons why HIPAA does not apply to Accushield collecting drug screen/TB Clearance on caregivers working in a senior living community:
- HIPAA compliance only applies if the Agency is a Covered Entity under HIPAA.
- If the Agency is a Covered Entity under HIPAA, and has signed a BAA with Accushield, then Accushield is bound by HIPAA compliance just like the Agency.
- HIPAA applies to any electronic records handled by a Covered Entity that involve billing/reimbursement (ie. related to a resident’s care). PHI regarding a caregiver, who personally is not receiving care or involved in care billing/reimbursement, is not covered by HIPAA. This caregiver PHI is merely health related data collected in connection with safety/security in the community, and is securely stored for no other purpose. This type of PHI collection is legally valid.
- Assuming a BAA is in place between Accushield and the Agency, then any PHI regarding the resident and care provided by the Agency to the resident would be covered by HIPAA; but PHI regarding a caregiver would not.