Hipaa!!!

  1. Is anyone else having HIPAA related problems? When an inmate goes the the ER, the hospitals send after care instructions along with the officer. This tells us NOTHING! And when we call, they say they will not release the information without a release of info form. This is difficult when they are handcuffed. And we cannot accept them into the jail until we have the hospital paperwork, so the officer has to wait. We have tried and tried to tell the ERs that per HIPAA, information can be released on an in-custody patient, without a signed release of info. But they do not get it. I think they could be liable if something happened and they were not compliant with HIPAA.
    Is anyone else having this problem? Has anyone been able to come up with a solution?
    thanks, Gem
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   RN.38SPCL
    Quote This: "exceptions For Law Enforcement Access" (45c.f.r.164.512(f)(l)(i) Send A Request On An Official Letterhead Specifically Stateing You Need The Info For Continued Medical Care. That Is What They Need To Get Them Off The Hook. I Have A Release Of Information Form All Inmates Must Sign Along With Their Booking Paperwork. The Er Doctor Must Write On The Aftercare Instructions " Inmate Is Fit To Be Incarcerated" Or Don't Take Him.
  4. by   Truegem
    Fit to be incarcerated or medically cleared for booking means nothing becuase the Dr's in the ERs don't know what our requirements are. After 13 years in corrections I'm tired of these terms because they don't confirm that they are indeed medically ok to be in jail according to our standards. They have sent us people who shoulld be admitted and when we send them back they say "don't you have a medical ward?" No, we have an infirmary where they are observed, but they are not sick enough to be in the hospital.
    As far as a release of info, do all inmates sign this?
    Because wehn we get NO info from the hospital, which legally they are supposed to provide, we have to have the inmate sign the release of info while handcuffed and we have to wait for them to fax the info before we can accept them. For example if the inmate is tremulous and has abnormal VS and should be in the hospital, we will accept him if he was medicated and hydrated at the ER. But if they did nothing, and he's not gonna make it through the booking process, we need to send them back to the ER. Anyway, my point is, they have to release the info WITHOUT a signed release, per HIPAA. But they don't and won't. In my opinion, THEY are violating HIPAA by not doing what the law says.
  5. by   RN.38SPCL
    Quote from Truegem
    Fit to be incarcerated or medically cleared for booking means nothing becuase the Dr's in the ERs don't know what our requirements are. After 13 years in corrections I'm tired of these terms because they don't confirm that they are indeed medically ok to be in jail according to our standards. They have sent us people who shoulld be admitted and when we send them back they say "don't you have a medical ward?" No, we have an infirmary where they are observed, but they are not sick enough to be in the hospital.
    As far as a release of info, do all inmates sign this?
    Because wehn we get NO info from the hospital, which legally they are supposed to provide, we have to have the inmate sign the release of info while handcuffed and we have to wait for them to fax the info before we can accept them. For example if the inmate is tremulous and has abnormal VS and should be in the hospital, we will accept him if he was medicated and hydrated at the ER. But if they did nothing, and he's not gonna make it through the booking process, we need to send them back to the ER. Anyway, my point is, they have to release the info WITHOUT a signed release, per HIPAA. But they don't and won't. In my opinion, THEY are violating HIPAA by not doing what the law says.
    IN 5 YRS, I'VE ONLY HAD 2 REFUSE TO SIGN THE RELEASE. IT WAS BECAUSE THEY HAD A PLAN TO GET MEDS AND THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE IN CONTROL OF THE SITUATION AND MEDICAL IF WE DID NOT HAVE THE MEDICAL HISTORY. IT BACK FIRES ON THEM BECAUSE IF THEY WANT/NEED MEDICAL CARE, THEY HAVE TO COOPERATE, IT'S THEIR CHOICE. AS FAR AS THE HOSPITAL, NO ONE SHOULD BE DISCHARGED THAT STILL NEEDS TO BE THERE. OUR DEPUTIES ARE TRAINED TO SEE THAT THIS GETS COMPLETED BEFORE BRINGING THE SUBJECT TO JAIL. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO ACCEPT THEM IF THEY ARE INJURED OR INCAPACITATED. THE DEPUTIES DON'T WANT TO RUN BACK TO THE HOSPITAL. ALSO, OUR ATTORNEY SAYS IF THE ER DOCTOR WRITES OUT " FIT TO BE INCARCERATED" OR " FIT TO RETURN TO JAIL", LEGALLY, YOU ARE OFF THE HOOK.
  6. by   Truegem
    Yes, but my point is, we should not have to have them sign a release. You are talking about the inmates signing a release of info in order to get the info as to what was done in the ER, right? We should be getting this paperwork without even having to ask, according to HIPAA. And even if we do inform the ER staff that it is ok per HIPAA to release this info (without a signed release) they won't. Even if we fax them the actual law. It's not so much that I want to know if they are ok to be in jail, I can make that decision myself, it's more that I want to know what they gave the inmate, so we don't double dose him, etc.
    I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing.
  7. by   RN.38SPCL
    I Understand. What I Mentioned Earlier Works For Us, But We Spent Alot Of Time Speaking With Administration From Our Local Providers, Hoping To All Stay On The Same Page/ Team. When They Get New Employees Though, We Have To Start All Over. One Thing I Did End Up Doing, Is Ask My Jail Commander To Speak To The Hospital Admin On The Laws. Also How Causing A Disruption In Medical Care By Withholding Information Could Mean Jail Time If It Causes Harm! That Really Helped Get The Messege Across. I Have Ordered Labs And Had Them Refuse To Give Me The Results. Boy, Was I Steamin Mad Over That. How Stupid Can They Get? Corrections Can Be Contsant Turmoil.
  8. by   Truegem
    Yes, that is exactly what I'm talking about! Grrrr!
    We have tried getting the officers to ask if they can sign a release while they are in the hospital so they can release the info to the officers (even though, per HIPAA they don't need to!) and they will not do this because they say it is coercing them into signing a release!!! Unbelievable!
    How come onobldy else is responding to this thread, are we the only ones who have problems with this? LOL! It is sooo frustrating!

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