HIPAA - Resources - FAQ - conducting surveys

Resources - FAQ - conducting surveys

AHA News Question

Under HIPAA, can a hospital conduct surveys or questionnaires of patients to learn whether they were satisfied with the care they received and, if so, what requirements or limitations are there on such activities? Can a hospital hire a vendor to conduct the surveys?

Under the HIPAA privacy regulations, hospitals may conduct "quality assessment and improvement activities" as part of the hospital's health care operations. A survey or questionnaire that determines whether patients were satisfied with the quality of care they received would be a quality assessment and improvement activity and, therefore, considered health care operations. Before conducting these activities, however, the hospital must state in its notice of information practices that it may use identifiable health information for the hospital's health care operations. If a hospital agrees to a restriction on its use of a patient's health information, any use of information for health care operations, including patient surveys, would be limited by that restriction. In addition, if a patient makes a request for "confidential communications," for example, specifying how or where the hospital may contact the patient, the hospital must accommodate any reasonable request. Finally, state laws may limit the use of identifiable health information for these purposes. A hospital may hire a vendor to conduct the surveys on the hospital's behalf pursuant to a business associate agreement under HIPAA.

 

Related Resources

Amicus Brief
The AHA and Federation of American Hospitals amicus brief urging the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to consider hospital electronic communication…
Letter
Public
AHA letter to the House expressing support of H.R. 6082, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety (OPPS) Act, which would align 42 CFR Part 2 with the Health…
Letter
Public
AHA letter to Representatives Greg Walden, and Frank Pallone expressing support for The Limited Repeal of the IMD Exclusion for Adult Medicaid Beneficiaries…
Letter
Public
AHA reiterates support for legislation to align 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA.
Standards/Guidelines
Introduction Hospitals and health systems are responsible for protecting the privacy and confidentiality of their patients and patient in
Letter
AHA comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information on its draft Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement as well as ONC’s…