Have HIPAA laws gone too far
Pesonal Health Information
In 1996 HIPAA or the The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was signed by congress to protect families from losing coverage in the event of employment loss. In 2003 an amendement was added that all information or PHI (Personal Health Information) maintain the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information as well as outlining numerous offenses relating to health care and sets civil and criminal penalties for violations.
During this time hospitals and doctors offices have developed a practice the makes it impossible for family members to check on their loved ones if a serious illness comes in to play.
I have worked in healthcare for 32 years and have watched countless times, children who have very sick parents, not be able to even call to get information on them because of these practices.
I for one was at the hands of HIPAA over the past week, when my mother had a heart attack and no one was at the hospital with her. Two of us live in Florida, one in Tennessee and the other two in New Jersey. When calling the hospital to get information of how my mother was, the nurse rudely (and I mean rudely) says "I can't give you any information". My mother being in a confused state at that time could not even tell them it was okay to discuss with me her condition. So what would have happened if she died? Who would be responsible for calling the family when she had no numbers on her because she had to get to the hospital immediately by ambulance in order to not die? I find that this law in times like this should be waived and children be given updated information about the parent.
Without any of us being their, she was sent to another hosptial that was 45 minutes away from anyone instead of giving us a choice of a closer hospital because no one was there to insist or no one was called.
I was not asking about her condition I was asking if she was okay at which time all the nurse had to say was "she is stable right now". She didn't have to be rude about it knowing that no one was there. She could have offered at least some peace of mind knowing that none of her children were there with her.
So when is this law considered going too far? In my opinion I think when people have family members that live out of the state they are in, as long as you can verify their date of birth or some other kind of identification proving that yes it is your parent or even your child if they are grown, then the information of their condition should be allowed to be given over the phone so that less stress and anxiety occur to the individuals on the receiving end.
Fortuantely the hospital she was moved to was not as rude, but what if she would have died? How could they even live with themselves that this womans own children called to find out if she was okay or not and not only would they give us no information, but they were rude about it also.
The hospital I work for gives the patients a pass code when they enter the emergency room so that family members can call and get updates on their loved ones. A hospital should not just be allowed to say I can't give you any information when you have a parent or child who could possibly pass away.
In an emergency situation such as this, my mother didn't have any information on her so I think that they would welcome at least knowing who she was by her own children calling.
This situation really made me uncomfortable and now it may take a million emails, but I will fight so that no other children would have to go through this annoying and unrealistic suffering again.
It could be you next time. Make sure that your parents or grown children tattoo your name on their chest and your phone number so that they will call you if the need arises.
I can understand not giving information to any old person but family members should not have this issue especially when their loved ones are really ill.
Funny how HIPPA is
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