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Monday
Aug232010

(small) Pet Peeve: HIPAA

It it's HIPAA, not HIPPA.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

"The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides federal protections for personal health information held by covered entities and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule is balanced so that it permits the disclosure of personal health information needed for patient care and other important purposes. 

The Security Rule specifies a series of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards for covered entities to use to assure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information."

Thanks for listening.

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    I like your site. Very cool. Will come back.

Reader Comments (6)

Acknowledged.
Sorry.

For me as a disability analyst, HIPAA is more like a HIPPopatamus! An obstacle.
It means when the disability claimant is still hospitalized, we can't get records at all, because social workers are now forbidden to copy and send out stuff from the charts on the floor, and we can't get records through medical records because the charts aren't IN medical records until the patient is discharged.

It means that when we review disability claims, where there is often a significant lapse of time between the time the Social Security Field office gets the Authorization for Release of INformation form from the claimant and when we work on it, many sources won't honor these forms because the signature is more than 90 days prior to the request, even though our forms specifically say that they are good for a year or until claimant's case is determined. And I am sure that Social Security had lawyers vet these forms.

Some sources also won't send us NEW admissions or evidence AFTER the form was signed. They want a new form signed after that. I guess the idea is that you might want to allow disclosure of your treatment for a broken leg, but not of your treatment for Hepatitis C. But the fact is, if you want Social Security Disabilty Benefits, you have to give us blanket permission to get all your records.

Then there is the thing about whether faxed signatures are valid. Our current system simply does not allow us to send an original. But some medical records departments still require an original signature. If your records needed to prove your disablity are there, you are out of luck, at least until you get to the hearings level, after two years of waiting, where the judge can suppoena the records.

This is all irrelevant to your concerns I know. It is just a pet peeve of mine in my daily work, because since HIPAA it has been much harder to get the records we need to allow the cases of people who most likely are really entitled under the law.

Susan Peterson

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Peterson

same as everyone says "fasfa" for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid - which is FAFSA not fasfa.

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJanie

Oh, but Susan! You can't see me nodding my head up and down through your whole comment! As someone who submits insurance claims (through Larsen Billing), I am right there understanding the limitations of HIPAA with records and their moving around and following, not the person, but the illness or condition.

I also have been disabled before. Blech.

But, most of all that I recognize in the comment is the fax'd signature. My usual path goes like this: Email scanned Records Release; Client prints and signs it, scans it and emails it back; I try to email it to the old provider, but sometimes (Kaiser is notorious for this) they want the original and that is a real pita. Then I start all over... Email release/they sign/they mail (oh, no! snail mail!)/I send. How time consuming, eh?

Oh, you already knew that! Great points, all.

August 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

Just curious- if a client knows you're going to need previous records (or if they don't, but you do), can't you just have them sign a records release upon intake when they're already filling out forms and signing things in person? ie: client's GP has info you'll likely need, so you fill out a form upon intake, and use if needed?

When I'm a client somewhere, I make sure that my provider has the necessary forms to talk to other providers, so I don't have to do something last minute or that involves printing, scanning, etc. at oh-dark-thirty. Also, I want to make sure they've got all the info they need to make the best decisions about my care.

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

Janelle: I electronically send out all forms before the first official prenatal visit, once they pay the deposit. The Release is in that "stack" of papers. I like to get that off asap in the off chance I'd get the records before the first prenatal. That way (as you know), I can go through them, mark labs done, etc.

There are very few forms that start out *in* the chart... MAWS are the main ones.

August 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

AMEN! Also one of my pet peeves.

September 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStudent Nurse Midwife

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