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HIPAA laws

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posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 01:32 PM
Why is it so hard to get ones OWN test results??? Lord knows I pay enough for MY tests, I want to have a copy of the results for my file. I do not self treat, though, I do double check doctors. Hey, they are human, and make mistakes. As busy as they are it isn't surprising.

The law is supposed to protect our confidentiality, but, why against the patient? Most of my doctors, after a period of time, will fax me my lab results(I have had Graves disease and now no thyroid at all) as for one, I like to be able to know how I feel at certain thyroid levels and for another thing, I don't like a doctor to have the power to say "You are hypo/hyper" when I may not be(believe me, it has happened!)

Today, I was told they could not fax my results, as they can't verify it is me. My fax is my home phone number. I politely discussed it with the lady and she finally agreed to do it, since the fax and home phone matched.

I have had other doctors TRY and hide behind HIPPA and say they wouldn't release my records at all. I did have a close friend, who is an attorney write a properly worded letter so I could get my records.

Who is HIPPA really protecting??

posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 01:41 PM
I used to work in the medical litigation support industry and I have very much experience with HIPAA and medical records. In my experience, records custodians are typically well trained in HIPAA regulations, but are often worried about inadvertantly releasing records to unauthorized individuals.

Technically, all they need is a signed HIPAA-compliant release form to provide the records, but some clinics and practices ask for a little bit more to be absolutely positive that they are complying with HIPAA laws, and they may ask that you come in to pick up the records in person.

Besides that, the best way to obtain your medical records once your paperwork has been accepted is to expedite the process by calling the facility twice a day.


posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 01:53 PM
They faxed them directly to me and I might add very quickly. I do run up against this quite often until I think the staff gets used to me and just sends them on as I am annoying(but polite and pleasant)

The one office I had the most trouble with was a very rude office and they truly hurt me. They also weeded out some of my records to suit themselves. That was the one I had to send a letter to and I did pick up everything in person.

Maybe the physicians just feel we, as patients, aren't intelligent enough to have knowledge of our records. I think it was MO of the above office.

posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 02:00 PM
Yeah, our HIPAA forms had standard "scopes" that would list what we were asking for and we had a certification page that the custodian would have to sign stating the page count and certifying that the custodian had provided all possible medical records that the facility carried with regards to the scope.

A typical scope would be something like "any and all handwritten and printed material, including but not limited to pages, notes, charts, images, illustrations, and drawings, front and back, regarding the patient referred to herein." I can't remember one exactly, but it went something like that.

Including a certification page would probably help you out a lot, as the custodians are keen on doing a complete job when their signature is at stake.


posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 02:03 PM
I too deal with this every day. And I'll tell you its not a conspiracy.

The reason they are so strict about it is because its the law and the fines for breaking this law are enourmas. We're talking $100,000 up to $250,000. Plus, these peoples jobs are at stake.

I know its a pain in the ass ... but its a pain in the ass for the people who have to deny requests like yours because they have to listen to people get mad over it all day.

[edit on 11/23/2005 by noise]

posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 07:35 PM
It all depends on the doctor, or maybe even the region. I know my doctor knows me well enough, and they should feel comfortable enough faxing if they can confirm the number.
I work in the health care industry...albeit in the IT department, it is our responsibility to ensure all PHI (personal health information) is as difficult to get as possible.
But yes, fines are probably the #1 concern to those in health care. While it is easy to hide behind what they say is "HIPAA" law, they may just as readily say "no" because they don't know it well enough, and they don't have the time/patience/energy to look it up on their own.

Good luck, though...and best of health.

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