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The University of Texas at Dallas

HIPAA Privacy Manual

Section 31: Special Government Functions

Definitions:

“Disclosure” means the release, transfer, provision of access to, or divulgence in any other manner, of information to any organization external to UTD.

“Use” means, with respect to individually identifiable health information, the sharing, employment, application, utilization, examination, or analysis of such information within UTD.

Policy:

As a general rule, UTD personnel may not disseminate PHI, unless it is requested by the individual to whom the PHI belongs, and a valid authorization has been obtained. However, PHI may be used or disclosed without authorization for specialized government functions. UTD Police should be contacted for verification of individuals representing a specialized government agency. These specialized government functions include:

  1. Armed Forces personnel, the Red Cross, or other authorized agents of the Armed Forces, if deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities to assure the proper execution of the military mission;
  2. Authorized federal officials for the conduct of lawful intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities;
  3. Authorized federal officials for the provision of protecting the President or foreign heads of state;
  4. The Department of State to make medical suitability determinations;
  5. A correctional institution or a law enforcement official with lawful custody of an inmate if necessary for the health and safety of such individual, other inmates, officers or other employees at the correctional institution, or persons responsible for such inmate’s transportation or otherwise for the administration and maintenance of the safety, security, and good order of the correctional institution;
  6. Governmental programs providing public health benefits and governmental agencies administering such programs. For example: the testing of an individual for communicable diseases, as authorized by Texas criminal law, and by Texas agencies; or intervention programs administered by Texas agencies such as the Texas HIV partner notification program).

Military and veterans activities.

  1. UTD may use and disclose the PHI of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities to assure the proper execution of the military mission, if the appropriate military authority has published by notice in the Federal Register the following information:
    1. Appropriate military command authorities; and
    2. The purposes for which the PHI may be used or disclosed.
  2. UTD may use and disclose the PHI of individuals who are foreign military personnel to their appropriate foreign military authority for the same purposes which uses and disclosures are permitted for Armed Forces personnel under the same guidelines that apply to US Armed Forces.

National security and intelligence activities.

UTD may disclose PHI to authorized federal officials for the conduct of lawful intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.

Correctional institutions and other law enforcement custodial situations.

  1. UTD may disclose PHI to a correctional institution or a law enforcement official having lawful custody of an inmate or other individual PHI, if the institution or official represents that such PHI is necessary for:
    1. The provision of health care to such individuals;
    2. The health and safety of such individual or other inmates;
    3. The health and safety of the officers or employees of or others at the correctional institution;
    4. The health and safety of such individuals and officers or other persons responsible for the transporting of inmates or their transfer from one institution, facility, or setting to another;
    5. Law enforcement on the premises of the correctional institution; and
    6. The administration and maintenance of the safety, security, and good order of the correctional institution.
  2. Any component of UTD that is affiliated with a correctional institution may use PHI of individuals who are inmates for any purpose for which such PHI may be disclosed.
  3. For the purposes of this provision, an individual is no longer an inmate when released on parole, probation, supervised release, or otherwise is no longer in lawful custody.

Departments or components of UTD that are or may become government programs providing public benefits.

  1. Any UTD health plan that is a government program providing public benefits may disclose PHI to another agency either to enroll or determine member eligibility. Such UTD health plan may do so if the sharing of PHI information is required or authorized by statute.
  2. Any UTD department administering a government (state or federal) program providing public benefits may disclose PHI to another covered entity that is a like agency as long as the programs serve the same or similar populations and:
    1. the disclosure of PHI is necessary to coordinate the covered functions of such programs or
    2. to improve administration and management relating to the covered functions of such programs.