TRICARE Publishes Revised Notice of Privacy Practices
The TRICARE Management Activity Privacy and Civil Liberties Office has revised and updated the Military Health System (MHS) Notice of Privacy Practices (NoPP). These revisions enhance clarity and readability, and reflect the latest modifications to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules published in January 2013.
The revised NoPP were published Oct.1, 2013.
Beneficiaries receive the NoPP when they enroll in a TRICARE plan. It describes how a patient’s medical information may be used and disclosed, and how they can get access to that information.
The economic stimulus passed in February 2009 included the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The HITECH Act made major changes in the HIPAA Privacy Rule, requiring TRICARE to change the NoPP. HITECH requires NOPPs to include statements that:
- Describe how a patient’s protected health information (PHI) may be used or shared, both with and without their permission.
- Prohibit a TRICARE health plan from using or disclosing genetic information for insurance and risk purposes.
- Require MHS to honor requests not to disclose PHI to a health plan for payment or health care operations purposes if the PHI concerns a health care service a patient paid for in full with their own money.
When it’s released, beneficiaries can review the new NoPP at www.tricare.mil/Privacy/HIPAA. If beneficiaries have questions, they should contact the privacy officer at their local military hospital or clinic. To locate a nearby facility, visit www.tricare.mil/mtf.