Health Care

Rant #1 

HIPAA – To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191, included Administrative Simplification provisions that required HHS to adopt national standards for electronic health care transactions and code sets, unique health identifiers, and security. At the same time, Congress recognized that advances in electronic technology could erode the privacy of health information. Consequently, Congress incorporated into HIPAA provisions that mandated the adoption of Federal privacy protections for individually identifiable health information.

What does HIPAA mean to you? To me, it has always meant privacy of my confidential information relative to healthcare. I do remember when HIPAA was passed in 1996 and that it was comprehensive reform of many things other than patient privacy. Back then I was still in the provider/payor role in health care. Today I am just a consumer and I am appalled by the lack of privacy and security of information. 

A few days ago I walked into the waiting room of one of my doctors and the person behind the desk asked me piece by piece for the following information: 

  • Your Name?
  • Your address?
  • Your phone number?
  • Your date of birth?

Does anyone see a problem here? The only identifying information left out for the dozen or so people in the waiting area to hear was my Social Security number. How is this privacy? How was my information secure? 

Rant #2

While I’m at it, have you not been told all your life to never sign any document without reading it first? OK, I know we won’t read every word of every page, but shouldn’t we at least SEE the document we are asked to sign? Maybe glance at the title? 

Does your doctor’s office or other medical facility have one of these little gadgets? Most of mine do now and I’m asked to sign this Topaz thingy three to five times with each encounter. If I ask, “What am I signing?”, I’m told, but I do not see the document. This may seem like a small thing, but it is very bad business and I wonder how it stands up in court? “Your Honor I do not recall signing a Consent for Treatment” or “When did I sign an agreement to pay? I only signed the little Topaz machine when told, your Honor.”

70148t450

There are also iPad versions of this process which gather a new patient’s medical history, demographics and consents. These at least show the form being signed and one can see one’s own signature on that form via the screen. 

Rant #3

Sorry, I’ve forgotten, but I am sure it is just as important and I’ll get back to you. 

 

“Healthcare is becoming part of information technology.” Bill Maris

 

 

Title photo courtesy Pixabay

5 Comments

  1. I am in 100% agreement. We seem to have gone backwards or to places we never wanted to go in the first place. Even in receiving areas where there are 3 and 4 windows, I can hear what the others are saying, just as I am sure they hear what I am saying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are absolutely correct. I have also signed those Topaz things too! I appreciate you bringing up concerns with privacy and sharing of personal information! I think, I fall into the catagory of mindless thinking! What’s our alternative. Bringing it up with readers on your blog, helps! Thank you, Sue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree. I always ask to see a copy of what I am signing and most of the time the receptionist has a laminated one for me to read. Sometimes they even offer it before I ask.
    And yes most doctors offices don’t ask the name, address, etc. so others can hear it. I guess my doctors are just careful about it.
    We need to remind receptionists and nurses about the privacy. They get careless sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s