depression meds and getting hired - page 2

I was just dx with mild/moderate depression which I have had for years but finally it was dx. I am on a low dose of antidepressant and feeling much better, able to focus better, etc. I am a... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    Quote from woody62
    The agency I worked for, under which I received my WC, didn't offer me any health insurance benefits and didn't ask any questions about my previous health history. I had been hospitalized, at Long Island Jewish back in the mid70's, and in New York State. It was more then ten years later I filed the WC claim and in an entirely different state, more then 1300 miles away. Their WC insurance company found out about my previous hospitalization, at LIJ. And they attempted to use it against me. One would that more then ten years later, there wouldn't have been a record. They had the dates of admission and discharge, my diagnoses, my doctor. And they attempted to get my old doctor to furnish them the records but he refused and contacted me.

    In short, I wasn't asked and I didn't tell. But the insurance record was still out there, for another insurance company to use. So, even if you don't tell and aren't asked, if you ever make an insurance claim, there is always a record, available for another insurance company. And HIPAA doesn't protect you.

    Woody
    Well insurance and employers are two different ballgames, and the op was talking about getting a job. Insurers usually don't tell employers what treatments their employees are undergoing do they? WC is different I know. WC always is trying to find a reason not to pay, pre-existing, drug screens, etc.

    I still stay Human Resources need not know my personal pysch history.
  2. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from Tweety
    Well insurance and employers are two different ballgames, and the op was talking about getting a job. Insurers usually don't tell employers what treatments their employees are undergoing do they? WC is different I know. WC always is trying to find a reason not to pay, pre-existing, drug screens, etc.

    I still stay Human Resources need not know my personal pysch history.
    I agree. Insurance companies and HR are two different things. I don't think HR has access to info we give insurance companies, it's protected by HIPAA.
    Last edit by FireStarterRN on Oct 2, '07
  3. by   woody62
    Quote from jlsRN
    I agree. Insurance companies and HR are two different things. I don't think HR has access to info we give insurance companies, it's protected by HIPAA.
    I am sorry but HR works with the insurance company to determine what they will cover, what they will pay and what they will charge. And unless you are protected by a union or a contract, you would be surprised what your employer has access to. I don't believe that it is any employer's business about my previous health history. But what I and you believe and what an employer is entitled to know under the terms of employment are two entirely different things. I have worked as a nurse since 1968. I have had employers in both New York State and Florida. I have been protected by a union and I have worked in a right to work state. And upon my employment, I have had to fill out insurance papers and health histories, undergo physicials by my employer, and I have never lied or 'left out' any medical information or medications I was taking. The major reason for my doing that was to ensure that my employer would have no reason to deny or terminate me.

    We encourage a patient to be frank and open about any diagnoses but we encourage among ourselves to hide anything we feel might have a negative impact on ourselves, even when it may not.

    Kitty
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 3, '07
  4. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from woody62
    I am sorry but HR works with the insurance company to determine what they will cover, what they will pay and what they will charge. And unless you are protected by a union or a contract, you would be surprised what your employer has access to. I don't believe that it is any employer's business about my previous health history. But what I and you believe and what an employer is entitled to know under the terms of employment are two entirely different things. I have worked as a nurse since 1968. I have had employers in both New York State and Florida. I have been protected by a union and I have worked in a right to work state. And upon my employment, I have had to fill out insurance papers and health histories, undergo physicials by my employer, and I have never lied or 'left out' any medical information or medications I was taking. The major reason for my doing that was to ensure that my employer would have no reason to deny or terminate me.

    We encourage a patient to be frank and open about any diagnoses but we encourage among ourselves to hide anything we feel might have a negative impact on ourselves, even when it may not.

    Kitty
    I would sincerely be interested in reading some documentation supporting your statement. Do you have an online article about this subject that you can give a link to?
  5. by   woody62
    Quote from jlsRN
    I would sincerely be interested in reading some documentation supporting your statement. Do you have an online article about this subject that you can give a link to?
    I cannot furnish you with any journal articles. But I can tell you about the ten years I spent working with insurance companies, here in Florida, as well as other states. And the access I had to their records. And believe me, the insurance companies, thru their national association, share information about anyone who has made a claim to any one of them. All they need is your name and your social security number, something we all freely provide to our employers and their insurance companies. With that limited information they can trace any claim you have made, to any insurance company, any where in this country. They can get your diagnoses, if you were an inpatient, which hospital, in what city and state, your doctor or doctors, which ER you visited, which doctor you visited, were you injured in a car accident, in which city, county and state, the police report, did you suffer an injury on someone else's property and did you file a claim, etc, etc, etc. And if you think that this information is protected by HIPAA, forget it. It is a matter of public record, as far as the police are concerned. And a matter of insurance history, as far as the insurance company is concerned.

    Don't brother tot check with HR, they will not tell you. And neither will any of your insurance companies. It is their dirty little secret, which gets out every once in a while, when posted by someone like myself. You want to know some of the insurance companies? I'll be happy to provide them for you. But as I said, don't brother to call them, they will not tell you.

    Woody
  6. by   Tweety
    Woody, encouraging patients to share with medical professionals their history is different from us discouraging the original poster from sharing her personal medical history with HR if it doesn't affect physical job performance.

    It's a no-brainer that an insurance company has access to all medical information, but it's not a widespread practice that they share such private information with HR. From your experience, obviously it's not unheard of, it's just not a standard practice. In fact there are employee assistance programs that help to guard this kind of stuff. When I went into treatment in 1984, all HR was told was that I would be out of work for a specified time through HR. Obviously if they felt I couldn't perform my job, then they would need to know more.

    So to encourage sometone to tell human resources personal private health information may or may not be wise. It might be wise because they won't get hired. It might be unwise because if they find out about it from an insurance company they might get denied a claim? For instance if it came to light someone had a bad back and lied about it and claimed they hurt their back at work the insurance company would say "hello HR, they already had a bad back, so we're not paying".

    Does HR decide what the WC insurance companies will and will not pay in claims? I always thought it was the WC company, and I do know they find any reason not to pay.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 3, '07
  7. by   woody62
    Quote from Tweety
    Woody, encouraging patients to share with medical professionals their history is different from us discouraging the original poster from sharing her personal medical history with HR if it doesn't affect physical job performance.

    It's a no-brainer that an insurance company has access to all medical information, but it's not a widespread practice that they share such private information with HR. From your experience, obviously it's not unheard of, it's just not a standard practice. In fact there are employee assistance programs that help to guard this kind of stuff. When I went into treatment in 1984, all HR was told was that I would be out of work for a specified time through HR. Obviously if they felt I couldn't perform my job, then they would need to know more.

    So to encourage sometone to tell human resources personal private health information may or may not be wise. It might be wise because they won't get hired. It might be unwise because if they find out about it from an insurance company they might get denied a claim? For instance if it came to light someone had a bad back and lied about it and claimed they hurt their back at work the insurance company would say "hello HR, they already had a bad back, so we're not paying".

    Does HR decide what the WC insurance companies will and will not pay in claims? I always thought it was the WC company, and I do know they find any reason not to pay.
    Actually Tweety, you would be surprised at what is shared between insurance companies and employers. Both have the aim of keeping the cost low. How does one do it. By denying claims. On one hand, you don't want to reveal what you don't think may have a negative impact but to hide it and deny it really doesn't protect you. Tell you what. Today, when you go into the hospital you work at or the clinic or the doctor's office, take a look at the release that all patients sign for treatment and at the release to provide information to your insurance company, to pay the bill. You would be surprised at just what you agree to release in order to have the bill paid.

    And Tweety, do you really think that HR is not going to go looking in your medical record, if you receive treatment where you work? Just like HR doesn't release a bad recommendation, somehow the negative things get out, don't they? You don't think that one HR office doesn't talk to another?

    Woody
  8. by   Tweety
    Woody, I'm not doubting what you say. But with all due respect, since you haven't worked since the late 80's the intervening years have been one of a sue happy nation, HIPPA, political correctness. As you note we can no longer give truthful references.

    I know that if I'm ever a patient people are going to look into my record and talk about it, even with the new alias system.

    Guess it's a personal decision when to reveal personal mental health history. Right now I choose to keep it to myself and leave it in the past. If that bites me in the butt in the future, and I'm 100% confident it won't, I'll deal with it then. Obviously if I get a back injury and keep it to myself that's a whole other issue.

    Do people run to HR and say "Just so you know I've been diagnosed with depression and am going on antidepressants and the doctor changed my HTN medicine, and my gout has been acting up and my uric acid is up so I'm starting a new medicine for that"?
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 4, '07
  9. by   bethin
    Quote from Tweety

    Do people run to HR and say "Just so you know I've been diagnosed with depression and am going on antidepressants and the doctor changed my HTN medicine, and my gout has been acting up and my uric acid is up so I'm starting a new medicine for that"?
    Or how about "that nasty yeast infection wouldn't go away with otc cream so I had to go to my gyn to get a prescription. That pregnancy test came back negative....again. And I think I have a wart on my butt."

    To the OP, don't ask, don't tell. As someone else said (I think it was Tweety), if every nurse who had ever taken an anitdepressant was deemed unfit to work then the nursing shortage would be even worse than it is.
  10. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from bethin
    Or how about "that nasty yeast infection wouldn't go away with otc cream so I had to go to my gyn to get a prescription. That pregnancy test came back negative....again. And I think I have a wart on my butt."

    To the OP, don't ask, don't tell. As someone else said (I think it was Tweety), if every nurse who had ever taken an anitdepressant was deemed unfit to work then the nursing shortage would be even worse than it is.
    Here's some common sense. You're right about the nursing shortage, I wouldn't be surprised if half the nurses working are on some psych med.
  11. by   woody62
    Quote from Tweety
    Woody, I'm not doubting what you say. But with all due respect, since you haven't worked since the late 80's the intervening years have been one of a sue happy nation, HIPPA, political correctness. As you note we can no longer give truthful references.

    I know that if I'm ever a patient people are going to look into my record and talk about it, even with the new alias system.

    Guess it's a personal decision when to reveal personal mental health history. Right now I choose to keep it to myself and leave it in the past. If that bites me in the butt in the future, and I'm 100% confident it won't, I'll deal with it then. Obviously if I get a back injury and keep it to myself that's a whole other issue.

    Do people run to HR and say "Just so you know I've been diagnosed with depression and am going on antidepressants and the doctor changed my HTN medicine, and my gout has been acting up and my uric acid is up so I'm starting a new medicine for that"?
    Tweety, please don't trivialize my comments. And that is just what you are doing by your last paragraph. No one runs to Human Resources to report every little illness. And I am not nor have I ever stated any such thing. When one goes to work for a new employer, it has been my experience, as a nurse for almost thirty years, that one gives a written medical history and undergoes a physical. And that has been my experience in both New York State and here in Florida. And leaving off anything can be cause for denial of coverage and/or dismissal from your job. It is considered a fraud. And committing a fraud is a chargeable criminal offense. If the question is not asked, that is an entirely different matter but that is rarely the case.

    You are free to leave off anything you wish on your history and physical. But I have a question. What would you say to a patient, upon reviewing his history and having a previous awareness of a medical/mental condition, that he had left off his history? More then likely, you would give him a chance to correct his mistake but what if he didn't. And what if his mistake might have an impact on his medical and nursing care. Would you not inform the treating physician? Or would you hide behind HIPAA and just ignore the patient's denied medical/mental condition? Please think before you respond. And you might want to ask an attorney friend what your liability could be for failure to inform the treating physician of your knowledge.

    Remember, you are free to leave off anything you wish from your medical history. But you will have to take the consequences of your failure to inform. And like I said, it can mean denial of health care coverage benefits. At today's costs, are you prepared to cover the hospital costs? I am not. I suffered acute renal failure last July. My hospitalization cost more then $220,000 for twenty-three days. I also suffered acute renal failure in 1966 but the cause was different and I was left with no problems. But I informed every doctor that treated me of my history. And it was on every insurance application I have ever made. And I have never been denied coverage. But if I hadn't and my insurance coverage had found out, which they could have, I would have been left with a $220,000 bill. One I could not afford to pay. Can you?

    I have been a diagnosed bipolar suffer since 1976. And I have been on medication ever since. And I have always listed it as a disease I suffer from, as well as the medications I take, whenever I have been asked. It has never prevented me from getting a job, getting into a higher education program or getting insurance. The only time I had a problem was the one time I previously mentioned. And my WC insurance company lost in court.

    I have nothing to hide. And I think hiding medical/mental conditions does a person a disservice, especially a health care professional.

    Woody
  12. by   Tweety
    Thanks Woody for your participation in this discussion. I apologize if you felt trivialized, that wasn't my intention. My intent was to discuss. I'm not going to read your long post above. I stopped after the first couple of sentences. I'm choosing not to participate in this thread as I've said enough already.

    We all have choices in life. I've made mine regarding my persronal mental health history and it's worked for me the last 20 years, it's so far buried in the past it's ancient history.
  13. by   leslie :-D
    i'm thinking the acuity of the illness, is will what determine if an employer or ins co, tries to deny a claim.
    as far as depression goes, its prognosis is very good with antidepressants.
    and so, the risk of lengthy and costly treatment is minimal.

    but with an illness such as bipolar, there is a higher risk of inpatient hospitalizations and time lost from work.
    to me, i think an insurance company would probably raise an eyebrow.
    the bottom line is, how much is it going to cost them?
    for those diseases with an excellent prognosis at minimal cost, there wouldn't be a problem.
    anything less stable, will likely create a fuss.
    and so, back to the op, i don't see where disclosing her being on antidepressants, would benefit her in any way.
    if anything, it would infringe upon her rights to privacy, esp where it's not going to jeopardize her performance on the job.
    same thing w/someone using antidepressants 20 yrs ago.
    no one is going to really care.
    i think it's all about risks:
    risks of reinjury, risks of substandard performance, risks of potential cost to employer/insurance co.
    anything that presents minimal risk, is something of little concern...imho.

    leslie

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