CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI), together with Feeding America, the nation's largest network of food banks and pantries, announce the release of Food Banks as Partners in Health Promotion: How HIPAA and Concerns about Protecting Patient Information Affect Your Partnership. The report gives food banks and other community-based service providers the critical HIPAA information they need as they navigate new health care partnerships in the effort to address social determinants of health. It also helps food banks understand how health care-related activities might obligate the food bank itself to comply with HIPAA, and looks at the types of resources needed to adopt HIPAA compliant information management practices.
Health care providers and payers are increasingly realizing that food insecurity and nutrition play a large role in patient health outcomes. Patients are less able to follow medical advice when they are hungry or unsure of where their next meal will come from. Food insecurity is also correlated with an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes among patients with limited financial resources.
Sarah Downer, Clinical Instructor at CHLPI, says "This report is a tool for health care providers and food banks to use as they begin to work in collaboration to address patient needs. Everyone, from physicians to hospitals to food bank personnel, is excited about the potential of these partnerships; they all know that food insecurity is a key social determinant of health."
Food banks and health care providers and payers are forming innovative partnerships, such as providing diabetes-appropriate boxes of food to people with type 2 diabetes. These partnerships can trigger new regulatory obligations for food banks, including responsibilities under HIPAA. Kim Prendergast, Community Health and Nutrition Consultant for Feeding America, explains, "For these partnerships to be successful, it is vital that the staff of food bank and other community-based organizations understand the HIPAA implications of their work and have the tools in place to ensure they protect client data."
The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI) advocates for legal, regulatory, and policy reforms to improve the health of underserved populations, with a focus on the needs of low-income people living with chronic illnesses. CHLPI is a clinical teaching program of Harvard Law School and mentors students to become skilled, innovative, and thoughtful practitioners as well as leaders in health and public health law and policy.
Contact: Najeema Holas-Huggins, 617-390-2624, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI)