Has HIPAA Helped or Hurt You?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by xsedrinam, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
    I did a check on this topic and couldn't find where it's been discussed. It's called HIPAA http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/ and deals with national standards of privacy to protect health information of individuals. I happen to think it's bad policy, though I understand the need for individuals to have their private medical information kept safe.

    Succinctly, our family which lives overseas, came to visit my father (then 95) on his birthday. No family network in city. We had called another brother in MA just before he left for Europe that same day letting him know we were going to visit my father. We drove 7 hours after flights to see him. When we arrived, he had been unexpectedly "hospitalized". The desk could not tell us why or where because of newly enforced HIPAA regulations. Since we had (family) relegated P.O.A. (Power of Attorney) to the older brother living 1500 miles away and currently out of the country, they would not give us the information. I'll not belabor the scenario, but needless to say, it was an extremely painful surprise to be faced with more governmental regulation which had neither the flexibility nor sensitivity to allow natural, familial desire for love and contact between a father and son on the father's 95th birthday.

    So, has HIPAA helped you and your family care?
  2. Lyle macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2003
    Madison, Alabama
    I would say that it's neither helped nor hurt us. The only difference it's made in how I deal with health care providers is that I now invariably have to sign one or more pieces of paper giving (or denying) them the authority to release my medical records to certain people.
  3. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    My new position in medical device sales, makes me very aware of the program, my training is documented to provide to hospital so I can be in the OR during procedures.
    As with nearly everything the goverenment touches, it is a paperwork drill. A sunday school buddy and I were at the elementary school tonight, this regulation came up, he makes calls on his fathers' Dr office. As it became enforceable law, the receptionist made the comment "Hey we just saw your dad in here yesterday!" He told me she instantly went pale, put her hands over her mouth, and apologized for revealing that confidential patient information. He laughed.
    There is a need, but add government and lawyers, insurance and Drs and you get one @55 kicking program.
  4. r6girl Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Sep 6, 2003
    xsedrinam: sorry to hear about the troubles you've had because of hipaa!

    i just had to say that hipaa has caused me trouble... because i worked in the benefits group of a large company when parts of the law were updated/changed and i had to implement a hipaa standard and policy across the company. lots of stress and time on the phone with our legal group - not fun! :( but i survived to get the hell out of benefits and move into a different job.

    we had to train a number of people across the company on the new hipaa standards, and i had these silly hippopatomus squeeze toys made that had "hipaa is the law" and the company logo printed on the back. oddly enough, they were a hit - i had people all over asking me if i had any extras to give them after the training.

  5. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Lol... I bet you could have Ebay'd those hippos pretty easily too. 'HIPAA is the law'. Too funny.
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    HIPAA... such good intentions, so poorly implemented when it comes to IT. It's definitely been a painful ride.
  7. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    I hate HIPAA!!!!

    but thats just my opinion. I work in the lab at a hospital drawing blood and everything is HIPAA this HIPAA that.
  8. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2003
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    I did some work a couple years ago with HHS. They're mostly concerned with institutions violating privacy rather than the specific issue you mentioned, but if I were you, I'd still send in a complaint. They track them and report on them to congress periodically.

    I was there managing an effort to set up better reporting for their document management system. It didn't go very far - they're facing an uphill battle with limited resources. Eventually I moved on to an evil defense contractor that paid a lot better. :cool:

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