If a deaf medical student utilizes an interpreter or speech-to-text provider, does it impact the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) patient privacy rule?

It is a common misconception that service providers (interpreters and speech-to-text professionals), as a third party, may be a violation of HIPAA. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) explains the allowance of service providers whether remote, in-person or via telecommunications relay service (TRS); including obligations to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Additionally, protecting consumer privacy is reinforced through confidentiality clauses in service provider codes of ethics:

Association of Transcribers and Speech-to-text Providers (ATSP) 

National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)

Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID)

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Updated on July 29, 2022

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