reading obituaries and HIPAA?


While reading the posted, public obituaries, I saw a last name on one obit that got my interest. The (last) name rang a bell both because of a former patient's connection to it (which their family shared with me) -- and because that family name also has a distant connection to someone in my family. Also for reasons related to the person's age and interesting history, I wanted to read it. It is wrong, or even a HIPAA violation, to open that obit and read it, if it is shared publically? 

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 17 years experience. 5 Articles; 11,136 Posts

Obituaries are not covered info, and newspaper publishers are not covered entities. No, it is not a HIPAA violation to read it.