Privacy of Medical Information
- Within the FAA, access to an individual's medical information is strictly on a "need to know" basis. The safeguards listed on the front of the FAA Form 8500-8 explain the FAA's
Privacy Act (PDF), and these rules apply to the application for airman medical certification and to other medical files in the FAA's possession. The FAA does not release medical information without an order from a court of competent jurisdiction, written permission from the individual to whom it applies, or, with the individual's knowledge, during litigation of matters related to certification.
The FAA does, however, on request, disclose the fact that an individual holds an airman medical certificate and its class, and it may provide medical information regarding a pilot involved in an accident to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (or to a physician of the appropriate medical discipline who is retained by the NTSB for use in aircraft accident investigation.)
The AME, as a representative of the FAA, should treat the applicant's medical certification information in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act. Therefore, information should not be released without the written consent of the applicant or an order from a court of competent jurisdiction.
In order to ensure that release of information is proper, whenever a court order or subpoena is received by the AME, the appropriate RFS, or the AMCD, AAM 300, should be contacted. Similarly, unless the applicant's written consent for release is of a routine nature; e.g., accompanying a standard insurance company request, advice should be sought from the FAA before releasing any information. In all cases, copies of all released information should be retained.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and Examiner’s activities for the FAA. This Act provides specific patient protections and depending upon an AME’s activation and practice patterns, you may have to comply with additional requirements.