direct vs indirect treatment relationships (HIPAA)

HIPAA regulations divide treatment relationships into those that involve direct interactions between providers and patients, and those that do not.

The latter, called indirect treatment relationships, are those where care is provided on the basis of the orders of another health care provider. In such cases, while the services or products (such as a lab test or a diagnostic screening) may involve a relationship with the patient, the diagnostic or other results go to the direct health care provider.

Providers with direct treatment relationships have, among other things, particular obligations with respect to the Notice of Privacy Practices.

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