A non disclosure agreement for medical office protects against the unethical and professional disclosure of patients' personal and medical information gathered in the process of treatment or research. If volunteers and employees of hospitals, clinics, and other medical practices have access to this information, the facility requires these individuals to sign a confidentiality agreement legally binding them to keep that information private.

Medical Research Confidentiality Agreement

While most people are familiar with this concept as it relates to the treatment of individual patients, confidentiality is also critical in the world of medical research. While studies give medical professionals access to the private information of study participants, improperly disclosing that information can be disastrous to the project. Professionals working on the research sign a medical research confidentiality agreement to keep that from happening.

Medical Facility Confidentiality Agreement

Sometimes a nondisclosure agreement is used to keep proprietary information from leaking out when a medical entity is about to announce a new facility. This helps protects business deals from going public before all of the regulatory approvals are in place. The individuals working on the project may be asked to sign a medical facility confidentiality agreement to keep the plans secret.

Medical Procedure Confidentiality Agreement

Different procedures are used to treat various medical conditions. For example, while the general public may understand that chemotherapy is used to treat cancer, the average person without medical training probably doesn't know exactly how the treatments are administered. Doctors and other professionals who work with patients receiving these treatments may be asked to sign a medical procedure confidentiality agreement.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Nondisclosure Agreement

A HIPAA nondisclosure agreement is used specifically for healthcare employees and professionals. This document references the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as Public Law 104-191. This legislation lays out the regulations for medical personnel, including insurance companies, hospitals, and other healthcare providers who handle health information in electronic form.

The HIPAA defines health information as patient medical records, financial information, billing records, or any other individually identifiable health information. Employers covered by HIPAA should have employees sign a HIPAA nondisclosure agreement to indicate an understanding of this law. Employees must understand the restrictions on sharing patient information and the importance of documenting due diligence.

Parts of a Nondisclosure Agreement

A standard nondisclosure agreement has some standard sections, though it can be modified to fit the preferences and needs of the facility using it. The parts of the agreement make it clear to those signing it exactly what they are agreeing to keep confidential. This is important because the document is legally binding in a court of law.

Break down your nondisclosure agreement into smaller paragraphs for better readability. All agreements of this type should include provisions to:

  • Protect patients' privacy.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of any research taking place in the facility.
  • Keep secret the plans for new facilities or services until all the legal provisions have been made.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the details involved in medical procedures.
  • Explain the consequences of breaching the nondisclosure agreement.

The best way to know for sure that your nondisclosure agreement is as strong as possible is to get the help of a medical and/or legal expert. Make sure you include all the information you want to protect. However, you don't have to include information that you don't intend to share with the signing party.

HIPAA Nondisclosure Agreement Boilerplate

HIPAA nondisclosure agreements include some basic provisions that are sometimes referred to as boilerplate. They usually appear grouped together at the end of the document and include:

  • A disclaimer of any relationships other than those defined in the agreement.
  • A clause of severability stating that even if a court finds one part of the agreement invalid, it doesn't invalidate the entire agreement.
  • An integration provision stating that the signed version of the document is the final one and no party can rely on past statements.
  • A waiver preserving the parties rights to make a complaint about a violation of the agreement later, even if significant time has passed since the alleged violation.
  • Injunctive relief allowing a court to order an individual to do something or stop doing something that may be in violation of the agreement.
  • A statement related to attorney fees and expenses.
  • A determination as to which state's laws will govern the agreement.
  • A determination as to the jurisdiction where any lawsuit will be brought related to the agreement.

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