Frequently Asked Questions : Privacy

Which specific data elements are considered protected health information?

The following individually identifiable data elements, when combined with health information about that individual, make such information protected health information (PHI):

  • Names
  • All geographic subdivisions smaller than a State
  • All elements of dates (except year) for dates directly related to an individual including birth date, admission date, discharge date, date of death
  • Telephone numbers
  • Fax numbers
  • Electronic mail addresses
  • Social security numbers
  • Medical record numbers
  • Health plan beneficiary numbers
  • Account numbers
  • Certificate/License numbers
  • Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers, including license plate numbers
  • Device identifiers and serial numbers
  • Web Universal Resource Locators (URLs)
  • Internet Protocol (IP) address numbers
  • Biometric identifiers, including finger and voice prints
  • Full face photographic images and any comparable images; and
  • Any other unique identifying number, characteristic, code, or combination that allows identification of an individual.