APHA Continuing Professional Education & HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 (Public Law 104-191) went into effect April 2003. While this law created a "Federal Floor" of privacy protections, more stringent state privacy protections remain in place. Since Continuing Education (CE) activities may incorporate patient/client case discussions/presentations/studies as part of the learning activity, CE contributors (presenters/writers, faculty members) must be aware of the law when compiling materials and during presentation to ensure compliance and protecting patient confidentiality in the CE activities. Keeping HIPAA regulations in mind, faculty must take every possible step to de-identify cases, even in an educational format.
The following websites provide information on HIPPA and Public Health:

HIPAA Privacy Rule and Public Health - Guidance from CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
HIPAA Administrative Privacy
HIPAA, Public Health, and Health Research
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and HIPPA
Privacy Rule-provisions relevant to public health practice
Disclosures for Public Health Activities [45 CFR 164.512(b)]

Procedures for Filing Complaints

Procedure for Filing A Complaint with the Association: If you believe a presenter at an APHA educational activity has violated the provisions of HIPAA, you may file a complaint with the APHA Continuing Professional Education Committee at:

APHA Continuing Professional Education
Attention: J. Alan Baker, MA
800 I Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 777-APHA

Complaints to the Committee must (1) be made in writing, either on paper or submitted electronically, (2) identify the particular educational activity including speaker/faculty, place, time and topic, and (3) state the acts or omissions believed to be in violation of the HIPAA Privacy policies, procedures or regulations. Complaints made with the Committee must be filed within 180 days of the date when you knew or should have known that the act or omission occurred. This time period may be waived for good cause. For more information contact: education@apha.org.