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COVID-19 and HIPAA at Grace Cottage

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TOWNSHEND — In light of the recent pandemic of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital has received inquiries about patients that have been tested for coronavirus within the community. The hospital issued the following statement:

While it is understandable that people want this information to protect themselves and their families, Grace Cottage is unable to disclose any protected health information (PHI) regarding any patient care or treatment.

The Federal Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 1996 to protect patient privacy and to ensure that patients can receive the confidential care they need. This law, by which we are bound, protects patients' rights not to have their PHI shared with any others except those directly involved in their health care.

For more information regarding this law: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-individuals/guidance-materials-for-consumers/index.html. You can also call Grace Cottage's Privacy Officer, Susan Kapral, at 802-365-3626.

Please be assured that when a positive coronavirus test is confirmed by the Vermont Department of Health (VDH), VDH contacts the patient and identifies any contacts that the patient has had during the infectious stage of the virus. If you would like more information regarding this, please go the VDH website: https://www.healthvermont.gov/. No Personal Health Information (PHI) is available at VDH, but statistical information is posted daily.

Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital is working hard to protect the community's health. If you have general questions about Grace Cottage, please call 802-365-9109.

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