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HIPAA Nonsense

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  • Avatar Ghetto 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 126
    Joined: 08/13/2017

    Some time ago we were doing some staff inservices (OSHA and whatnot). My office manager had a HIPAA compliance person come in to talk to us.

    This lady comes in and gives us a whole rundown on super strict privacy measures:

    1. We have to get rid of a sign in sheet because patients could read other patients names
    2. No calling patients by name in the waiting room
    3. Turn the charts around in the chart rack on exam room doors so patients can’t see other patients names on the charts as they pass by in the hall
    Etc.

    If we don’t do all of this stuff we could face huge fines etc.

    After about a week of this nonsense (and I’m getting annoyed that I cannot identify roomed patients because their charts are backwards), I walk by my dentist’s office and I can see all of his patients being treated through the clear glass windows of his office! So a physician can’t let a name be read off a chart but dentists can practice with their patients in full view of the public?

    I’m sharing this story with a military doc friend of mine and he tells me that their derm department rooms are essentially “bays” with walls that don’t go clear to the ceiling. Patients can hear other patients being evaluated and procedures being done. Same in the ER at the nearest hospital. Same in the preop and postop area of the ASC where I work (just curtains between the patients).

    Needless to say, the next day I shut all that nonsense down. Yes we take measures to protect patient privacy but I will not be bullied into stupid policies that are selectively and inconsistently enforced. HIPAA hysteria and bullying needs to stop.

    #238777 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2608
    Joined: 05/01/2017

    I’ve always been a little confused by the intersection of HIPAA and emergency medicine.

    You go to these training modules where you’re told not even to briefly discuss a case in the elevator and then… well, have you ever been in an ED in NYC?

    I’m not saying pt privacy isn’t really important, just that it seems like kind of disposable when it’s difficult to maintain.

    #238807 Reply
    Liked by Dusn, Vagabond MD
    Molar Mechanic Molar Mechanic 
    Participant
    Status: Dentist, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 408
    Joined: 10/29/2017
    So a physician can’t let a name be read off a chart but dentists can practice with their patients in full view of the public?

    Click to expand…

    Dentists are subject to HIPAA and those same consultants as well.  Use common sense.  The law was designed to keep you from selling your patient rolls to companies.

    #238809 Reply
    Liked by ZZZ
    Lordosis Lordosis 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2186
    Joined: 02/11/2019
    2. No calling patients by name in the waiting room

    Click to expand…

    What are yous supposed to do?  Point and say “Hey you”

     

    It can get ridiculous real quick.  Especially because the vast majority of people who create and enforce these rules never worked in any patient care setting.

     

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #238811 Reply
    Avatar Panscan 
    Participant
    Status: Resident
    Posts: 1152
    Joined: 03/18/2017

    It’s all just a game. A box to check and move on

    #238812 Reply
    Avatar Ghetto 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 126
    Joined: 08/13/2017

    Another quick story. Not long ago I had a HIPAA compliance officer from a hospital come in as a patient. I did not see this happen because it was in the reception area but when she was being checked in she leaned forward on the reception counter lifting her feet off the floor and leaned way into my receptionist space. Then she looked sideways at the computer screen and declared “I can see patient information!”

    I heard about this after I had seen her in an exam room. She never mentioned anything to me. But it was a bureaucrat throwing her weight around in an unreasonable manner.

    #238815 Reply
    Avatar bean1970 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 570
    Joined: 07/12/2017

    The most important thing in medicine is correct patient. IMO all HIPAA has done has led to more identity errors.  “Hiding” patients in the hospital only hurts the patient.  Once upon a time the patient had their name outside the door, at the foot of the bed, on the wall above the bed, along with on the chart and on the clerk board.  I’ve seen and witnessed more mishaps because no one knows who really is in room 510, particularly when the patients cut their annoying wrist bands off……

    While the intent of HIPAA makes sense, it has clearly been misinterpreted to the point of ridiculous…..

    Next thing is patients in waiting rooms will sit with bags on their heads so no one can see each other……

    Avatar Nysoz 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 96
    Joined: 10/23/2017
    2. No calling patients by name in the waiting room 

    Click to expand…

    What are yous supposed to do?  Point and say “Hey you”

     

    It can get ridiculous real quick.  Especially because the vast majority of people who create and enforce these rules never worked in any patient care setting.

     

    Click to expand…

    give everyone restaurant style pagers of course

    #238827 Reply
    Liked by Lordosis
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
    Moderator
    Status: Financial Advisor, Accountant, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 8366
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    This is very interesting. I’ve been wondering for a long time how private a doctor’s office is when I sign a list, have my name called out, etc. One doctor’s office I have been to actually leaves the door of the patient waiting room open until the doctor comes in and closes it behind him.

    It all seems pretty silly to me.

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP: I am not your financial advisor; any responses are for general purposes only
    http://www.fox-cpas.com/for-doctors-only ~ [email protected]

    #238828 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3059
    Joined: 01/03/2017

    These are the things where you just nod your head but never actually change anything.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #238830 Reply
    Avatar Kamban 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2577
    Joined: 08/01/2016
    What are yous supposed to do? Point and say “Hey you”

    Click to expand…

    Hey you, out there in the cold
    Getting lonely, getting old

    Can you feel me?…………..

    #238858 Reply
    Liked by Lordosis
    Avatar GasFIRE 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 231
    Joined: 01/08/2018

    We don’t need no education…

    #238860 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2186
    Joined: 02/11/2019

    Can you feel me?…………..

    Click to expand…

    After the HIPAA training is the sexual harassment training.  😛

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #238863 Reply
    Liked by Kamban, Nysoz
    Avatar orthodds 
    Participant
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 152
    Joined: 11/07/2017

    HIPAA is a joke.  It’s a lawyers/bureaucrat’s dream.  It’s also exploited by outfits that will try to scare you into doing x y or z to be compliant.  It just so happens those companies will help you address those (mostly made-up) issues for a fee.  There is too much room for interpretation in the HIPAA law.  This leads to little uniformity and lots of room for a government bureaucrat to make your life miserable.  The fines were also increased bigly when Obamacare was passed.  As a small business owner the heavy hand of the federal government is something that pushes me toward FIRE.  It’s really ridiculous.

    #238864 Reply
    Avatar orthodds 
    Participant
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 152
    Joined: 11/07/2017
    Can you feel me?………….. 

    Click to expand…

    After the HIPPA training is the sexual harassment training.  😛

    Click to expand…

    HIPAA not HIPPA

    #238866 Reply

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