December 18, 2015
The Politics of Dancing the HIPAA
Harder than walking the high wire between the former World Trade Center’s twin towers is hip hopping through HIPPA to get hold of medical records.
A patient walks into a doctor’s office for the first time or winds up in the emergency room. Even if it’s for a routine checkup, what patient isn’t a bit on edge. And there’s added stress if a patient has a mild case of hypochondria. When the patient arrives, he or she is handed a clipboard with page after page of questions and forms to fill out. If a patient is like me, they don’t keep track of every procedure, ailment, and allergy they’ve had. They don’t keep track of the dates of their inoculations and their yearly flu shot (if they get one). Sure some people are always prepared and bring every tidbit of their medical history with them wherever they go, but that’s not the norm.
After they’ve gone through the long detailed questionnaire, they come to the consent forms and lastly, the HIPPA form. While there are no statistics available, I’m willing to bet that a patient views the HIPPA one of three ways: Without much thought, with too much thought and by rote. All three have the same outcome, essentially.
Without Much Thought
Even if one is paranoid, some folks, particularly the young and the healthy, really don’t give thought to who will have access to their records. Why should they? They’re more concerned about their lives, their careers, their social media accounts; not future medical complications that might arise. When they come to their HIPPA form they may most likely give permission to the first person that comes to mind at that moment.
With Too Much Thought
Then there’s the patient who gives too much thought to whom they will permit access to their records. They’ll run through the list of those close to them who they believe can be trusted and weigh the pros and cons of each person, finally settling on one or several persons they are ‘certain’ have their best interest at heart.
Finally, there’s the seasoned patient who has the process down pat. This patient assigns HIPPA permission automatically. Most of these patients have ongoing medical conditions, long term partners and/or living wills.
Not Etched in Stone
Life is a crap shoot the outcome of which is seven, eleven or craps and not etched in stone.
As I mentioned above, these three methods of assigning permission have the same outcome. HIPPA is ETCHED IN STONE and as such is designed as a heavy, cumbersome law whose tenets can cause an immovable barrier to retrieving medical records for both the patient and the patient’s loved one who may have been overlooked on the many HIPPA documents a patient signs over the course of their life.
What’s not etched in stone are the lives of people. What if the patient or their assigned HIPPA proxy(s) move away, end their friendship or relationship, become a bitter enemy, file for divorce, die from natural causes or from Force Majeure? Those and the infinite other scenarios shatter the tenets of HIPPA either making it impossible to retrieve medical records or granting access to people who the patient deems should no longer have access to their medical records.
What patient keeps track of every HIPPA form he or she fills out? Let’s say there’s a divorce and it gets messy. The plaintiff (or vice versa) probably has access to the medical records of the defendant who may not want the plaintiff to have, yet the defendant may not remember every HIPPA for granting permission and the plaintiff now has ammunition against the defendant whether or not warranted.
What about all the other scenarios that can rear up and shatter the tenets of HIPPA?
The Professional HIPPA Dancer
Record Grabber is in the business of record retrieval and storage with an emphasis on medical record retrieval. While our main clients come from the legal, insurance and medical professions, Record Grabber is equally useful for the patient. Not only can Record Grabber retrieve all your medical records but we keep them stored digitally in a high security encrypted ‘vault’ that’s accessible 24/7 from anywhere worldwide.
Get to know us and the wealth of low cost cloud-based, retrieval services Record Grabber offers you. Take a couple of minutes to go through our website, www.recordgrabber.com. Then, sign up to become a professional HIPPA dancer. If you’re still not sure of the choreography and have more questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us at (877) 800-1147.
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