Quote from pmabraham
Yes, the University of Toledo referenced it, but I cannot find any legal case (aka legal precedent) or actual verbiage in HIPAA to support the interpretation. I talked to a nurse practitioner today who shared they regularly share information with their spouse. I pointed to my quest to find an actual citation (aka legal case or HIPAA outright wording) that would state otherwise.
Please keep in mind I'm not for or against the situation; I'm just trying to find an actual source document that either comes from HHS or is a legal precedent. So far I just have people telling me no, and citing anything but HHS or a legal case were it was proven to be a HIPAA violation.
I guess that, since the HHS rules are clear about under what circumstances, and with whom, providers are allowed to share information, and spouses aren't
included as individuals with whom one is authorized to share info, I'm wondering why you feel you need to find some specific language or a legal precedent. I don't understand why there would be any question of whether it's okay to share info. Under HIPAA, people can only share protected info with the categories of individuals/entities listed in the HIPAA rules, and spouses aren't on that list. What's hard about that?
The nurse practitioner you spoke to is acting unethically, if s/he is actually freely disclosing protected health info and discussing cases with a spouse who is not directly involved in the clients' care, and that is the responsibility of that nurse practitioner.
source that is not
actually HHS, but is providing guidance/interpretation to professionals on HIPAA compliance, that specifies that disclosing info to one's spouse is a violation:
explicitly state that patient information should never be given to any third party who is uninvolved in the patient’s care. Even releasing information to the patient’s own family requires stringent release of information guidelines. The patient’s own spouse
wouldn’t have access to the records without explicit consent of the patient — so why should your spouse?"
HIPAA Violations to Avoid | HealthWorks Collective
I doubt you're going to be able to find exactly what you say you're looking for; but I don't see why that's a big deal. The law is clear about to whom info can be disclosed; other healthcare professionals who are directly involved in the client's care, third party entities for payment purposes, and other individuals when the client authorizes the disclosure
. Very few of us have spouses who fall into one of those categories.