Privacy and e-prescribing

May 6, 2005

What impact will HIPAA have for doctors who elect to e-prescribe?

Q: What impact will HIPAA have for doctors who elect to e-prescribe?

A: That depends. Any doctor who's considered a covered entity must protect the privacy of e-prescribing information-both prescriptions transmitted to a pharmacy and requests for prescription-related information from a patient's drug plan-just as she would any other protected medical information transmitted electronically to a third party.

You're considered a covered entity if you conduct any one of the standard HIPAA transactions electronically (claims filing, insurance eligibility requests, and so forth). Moreover, since e-prescribing information (prescriptions and related data) is considered protected health information, it's also covered by the security rule.