Q

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?
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.
For more information on this topic, visit these other SearchSecurity.com resources:
  • Featured Topic: HIPAA update
  • Best Web Link: Health Care/Health Services
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  • This was first published in May 2003

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