OSHA: Our office automatically provides a Hepatitis B titer for all new hires. Is this acceptable?
No. The CDC recommends a titer only if there is documented proof of the vaccination series. If the employee cannot provide documentation of such, then the Hepatitis B series and titer should be offered at the employer’s cost. Alternatively, the employee could sign a declination.
HIPAA: Recently a minor in our office was treated for opioid addiction. Does HIPAA allow us to inform the patient’s family in the event of a serious life-threatening situations with opioid use?
Yes. If factual evidence and circumstances indicate the patient would pose a serious and imminent threat to his or her health through continued opioid abuse, then the provider has a professional right to inform family, friends, and caregivers who could prevent or lessen the chances of a serious or fatal outcome. More information is available at https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/hipaa-opioid-crisis.pdf