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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:So some of you who live in the U.S. and who have been to a doctor within the last year may have heard of HIPAA, the Health Insurance Privacy something-or-other Act.

Basically, it's this unnecesarily restrictive set of rules placed on privacy of medical information that doesn't do anything to make anyone's medical information more secure, but does make it incredibly inconvenient to provide care to patients by requiring huge amounts of paperwork, federal background checks, and such before you can access a patient's medical information.

The University of Michigan uses a system called CareWeb on which patient information is stored. I got a nasty E-mail from the HIPAA compliance office today for looking up a patient who I am apparently not authorized to look up, informing me that they were investigating, advising me that I was entitled to legal representation, and telling me that I am allowed to voluntarily why I was looking up the patient's information (they provided the patient's name).

I thought for about 10 minutes how to word to the letter so that it wouldn't sound sarcastic and mean, but it probably did anyways. I explained that I had, indeed looked up that patient's medical records because I am the same person as the patient and under HIPAA, I am allowed to look up my own medical records.

Now, you'd THINK that it migh tpossibly dawn on the person sending the E-mail that it's a bit odd that the name of the suspected HIPAA violator and the name of the patient are the same and that they might just discuss that with their supervisor and recommend further investigation before sending the E-mail. I mean, they DID go to the trouble of figuring out that the patient had never been on any service through which I've rotated (very impressive auditing on their part, I have to give them that).

Anyways, I got a response a few hours later apologizing for the error and inconvenience and assuring me that no record of this investigation would be included in my employee/student file.

Stupid gits.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Pink...?
Pink...?

Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
Location: Over There
Member Since: 6th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6140
Posted:maybe the poor people are just overworked?

Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)
Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

Enter a "Title" here:
Location: San Diego California
Member Since: 31st Dec 2001
Total posts: 2905
Posted:Yet another reason we should all be rich and not have medical insurance ohh wouldnt that be nice hahahah


Well Mike... look at it this way, atleast it was just an email and the feds didnt come kick down the door to your house, kill your dog, and stick ya in an interigation room for 12 hours while they tried to verify that you are who you are.


That reminds me, if I dont have a birth certificate was I ever born? And if I dont have a death certificate can I die?


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Overworked? They're bureaucrats. They work 8-5 Monday-Friday. How can they be overworked?

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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polythene
veteran
Location: London/ Surrey
Member Since: 15th May 2003
Total posts: 1359
Posted:Nope, nope.... I don't think you're allowed to die unless you've applied for the licence and recieved your certificate in triplicate.

The optimist claims that we are living in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears this is true.

Always make time to play in the snow.

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)
Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

Enter a "Title" here:
Location: San Diego California
Member Since: 31st Dec 2001
Total posts: 2905
Posted:Black ink too, if it is in blue you have to start the process all over again!

Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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pounce
pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:well mike that really is quit idiotic on their parts.

but on the issues of HIPAA, it is somewhat annoying, but i can't say that it's not a good thing either. the psychology profession has been doing this for ages, and i think implementing policies to ensure more privacy is a good thing. plus it really only applies to email correspondance since there's not a lot of privacy there anyway.

ok i'm sure i have more to say but it's the end of the week and i'm on no sleep. and i don't want to talk about work-related crap.


I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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SaBBaS
enthusiast
Location: Madrid, Spain
Member Since: 4th Jan 2002
Total posts: 215
Posted:nice one mike
rather then overworked i'd say the opposite, those ppl have too much time and nothing useful to do with it ... how bout teaching them poi? it could make the whole bureaucracy (sp?) more interesting ("go to the other window, i'm trying to get this btb wave right...")


Don't you destroy your enemy by making him your friend?? - Rev Bem (Magog), Andromeda

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Matthew B-M
Matthew B-M

Lemon-Aware Devilstick-wielding Operative
Location: East London Wilds
Member Since: 9th Jul 2003
Total posts: 605
Posted:Lightning, are you sure the email wasn't just computer generated, and that the people to blame are not the administrators, but the programmers who programmed the compliance-detection (or whatever you want to call it) auditing routines? I know which I'd be more likely to blame, personally.

Luv 'n' Lemons
purity :: clarity :: balance

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Grayforth
member
Location: Santa Barbara
Member Since: 17th Sep 2003
Total posts: 42
Posted:Matthew your making it too easy... its more fun to think that they are just idiots.

In this world of tears, you need a sense of humor.

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:quote:Originally posted by pounce:
well mike that really is quit idiotic on their parts.

but on the issues of HIPAA, it is somewhat annoying, but i can't say that it's not a good thing either. the psychology profession has been doing this for ages, and i think implementing policies to ensure more privacy is a good thing. plus it really only applies to email correspondance since there's not a lot of privacy there anyway.
The idea is fine. But the restrictiveness of it is not. The fact that you can't ask how a patient is doing just for your own personal interest is frustrating. The fact that you can't transmit patient information between hospital without express permission is a block to good care in a life-and-death situation.

And HIPAA really didn't change much about patient privacy, anyways.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Dentrassi
Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 9th Apr 2003
Total posts: 3044
Posted:reminds me of that guy in india who tried to prove for 16 years that he wasnt dead, despite what the bureauocrats said....

"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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pounce
pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Lghtnng:
The idea is fine. But the restrictiveness of it is not. The fact that you can't ask how a patient is doing just for your own personal interest is frustrating. The fact that you can't transmit patient information between hospital without express permission is a block to good care in a life-and-death situation.

And HIPAA really didn't change much about patient privacy, anyways. [/QB]i agree that there needs to be some kinks to work out with the whole thing. but think of this situation: a female goes into the hospital to get treated for injuries from her abusive husband. husband comes in to see if she is there. before, there was nothing allowing the hospital to deny him access to her except common sense. but he could technically sue the hospital for keeping him from his wife. now she would protection from situations like that. there are plenty of instances in which this policy is a good thing. i for one like that i have a little more privacy with my medical records.


I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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Matthew B-M
Matthew B-M

Lemon-Aware Devilstick-wielding Operative
Location: East London Wilds
Member Since: 9th Jul 2003
Total posts: 605
Posted:pounce: if you want privacy, then the UK and the US are probably some of the worst places to live right at the moment.

Grayforth: No, it means that the programmers are idiots, and that the people who specified the system are idiots (for not thinking of that case).


Luv 'n' Lemons
purity :: clarity :: balance

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Pink...?
Pink...?

Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
Location: Over There
Member Since: 6th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6140
Posted:quote: reminds me of that guy in india who tried to prove for 16 years that he wasnt dead, despite what the bureauocrats said....

Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...

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pounce
pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:oh yeah i'm quite aware of that. never said i was proud to be an american.....

I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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