Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief

HIPPA

5 Comments

Privacy is great. Protecting our privacy is great. I may be missing something, but sometimes it seems to go too far. When HIPPA laws (designed to protect ME, I think) prevent me from my OWN information, that doesn’t make much sense to me.

It reminds me of the guys I know that got into a physical altercation and both ended up in the emergency room. What was the fight over? COVID restrictions and how to keep themselves safe. Ironic, right?

I’ve had my own two experiences this week. I somehow was able to get a desperately needed appointment for my client without having the four-month wait. My client knew about – and wanted- me to contact the doctor. I emailed him, which is the only way I could reach him. I knew a phone call was a pipe dream, especially because I only had 24 hours.

I called the office to make sure they asked the doctor to read it. Oh, we can’t accept any information by email. HIPPA. Can you fax it? No, I can’t fax it. I don’t have a fax machine anymore. Can I scan it for you and email it? No, nothing by email.

But the client says he is not only comfortable with the email but wants it sent. I believe it is HIS HIPPA rights that he wants to waive for a more important goal. I don’t get it.

The second incident was with me. I went to my foot doctor for post-surgery checkup. During therapy, I got an x-ray because one leg is slightly longer than another. My primary doctor had to order it because ordering a leg x-ray is out of the scope of a foot doctor. Now I thought that in and of itself was kind of dumb because my leg definitely affects my foot, but whatever.

I sent the results to my primary, to my foot doctor, and my physical therapist. (It was my therapist’s idea to begin with.) When I signed in for my appointment, I asked the receptionist for a copy of my report. Sure.

She comes back and says the printer isn’t working. Ask Kim when you go into the room. (Ok, but couldn’t you have done that? Customer service?)

I go into the room and ask Kim. Absolutely not. We didn’t order the test so we can’t give you the results. But it’s MY results. I have a right to my own records. Nope, you have to ask your primary because she ordered it. But I am the one that asked for the results to be sent to you. It’s MY HIPPA rights you are trying to protect. I am here, not at my primary’s office. She remains resolute.

I think you are wrong but ok.

I looked it up on my phone while I was waiting for the doctor. I’ll be damned. She is right. Unless my primary is DEAD, I have to get the results from her.

I’m sure I don’t know all the reasons the law is written that way. But as a consumer, it lacks common sense. Thanks for protecting me, but shouldn’t I have the final say about what I want protection from?

I don’t get it.

Author: Help for Healing

My name is Darcy Thiel. What people say they appreciate most about me is my genuine nature. I utilize my professional and personal experiences to increase my understanding and compassion to help others. My career has many faces, so let me tell you about a few. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State and am a couple and family therapist. As an Adult Planning Specialist and End of Life Doula, I take my experiences with my parents’ and husband's illnesses and passing to help others navigate the crazy, complicated medical world we live in. This dovetails with the books I have written. Bitter and Sweet: A Family’s Journey with Cancer, the prequel to Life After Death, on This Side of Heaven is an honest and raw perspective on coping with the diagnosis and subsequent loss of Tim, my spouse. I have done extensive speaking on the above topics through live audiences, radio shows, and an occasional TV spot. For more information, see my websites at www.marriageandfamilycounseling.net, www.babycooppublishing.com, or www.darcythiel.com. Copyright Help for Healing by Darcy Thiel © 2012-2019. All rights reserved.

5 thoughts on “HIPPA

  1. Just another crazy medical issue!!!

  2. life is lacking common sense. going to be a lot of HIPPA violations soon; and they will be overlooked or pushed under a rug. also ironic? laws are ony as good as the people willing to enforce/obey them.

  3. Don’t feel bad. I’m the author and half the time it lists me as anonymous too!!!

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