Jennifer Lubell's article on AHIMA to offer new certification included several inaccurate remarks made by Deborah Peel, chairwoman of the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation, regarding the American Health Information Management Associations commitment to patient privacy and the content of the Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security, or CHPS, exam.
First, I would like to clarify that AHIMA has always been a strong advocate for a persons right to accurate and confidential personal health information. We championed consumers rights throughout the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act debate and have gone on record that HIPAA privacy regulations represent a floor for patient confidentiality protections, not a ceiling. We advocate for uniform confidentiality, privacy and security protections because we believe it is through uniformity that privacy practices can best be put in place and followed, as opposed to the hodgepodge of state and federal requirements that create confusion and barriers. We also work to educate consumers to their privacy rights and responsibilities through sponsorship of Health Information Privacy and Security Week, myPHR.com and the efforts of our allied state associations.
Second, Peel remarks that the exam doesnt seem to address the legal or ethical landscapes of privacy or the process of consent. The exam actually includes 34 questions surrounding competencies in regulatory requirements, investigation and compliance, and 37 questions surrounding competencies in health information management, both of which address privacy and the process of consent. In total, nearly half of the exam items cover these domains.
Anyone who has a role in healthcare privacy and securitysmall and large hospitals, health insurance companies, independent consultants, attorneys, compliance officers and othersis invited to take the CHPS exam. We are confident that the exam is an assessment of competency, and anyone who obtains a passing score has proven that they are competent in healthcare privacy and security.
Linda KlossCEOAHIMAChicagoTo submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here . Please include your name, title and hometown.