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Do public schools that store student info need to comply with HIPAA?

Are state agencies, specifically public schools that store medical information on their students, required to conform to HIPAA standards?

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There are a lot of government agencies including schools that must comply with HIPAA. However, there is some overlap between HIPAA and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) that has created a legal gray area. One major determining factor regarding schools having to comply with HIPAA is whether or not the nursing/health care staff is in-house or outsourced to a third-party provider. There are so many legal issues involved with this that I can't really give you a definitive answer. I would recommend consulting with your school system attorney to let them review the HIPAA, FERPA, etc. laws and make the final decision as to whether or not your system is a covered entity.
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  • This was first published in May 2003

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