Using HIPPA to get a private room - page 2

on our birthing unit, we have seen a trend of mothers using hipaa guidelines to get a private room. medicaid and un-insured drop-ins usually get put in semi-private rooms, unless there are only... Read More

  1. by   firstyearstudent
    The only place that I have seen where this might also be done is a psych unit of a nearby hospital where you get a private room if you have HIV or another STD. I presume this is a safety issue, not a HIPAA issue. All the patients are aware of this. However, the strategy of claiming you have a disease that you don't can backfire since you can be forced to stay on a higher security unit with less privileges if there isn't a private room free on the more desirable unit.

    Maybe there was some lawsuit at your hospital?

    I really don't see how people can carry out HIPPA, spirit-wise or letter-wise in a crowded hospital with semi-private rooms. With all the exceptions someone else noted, what's the point? To make hospital staff responsible for things out of their control?
    Last edit by firstyearstudent on Oct 25, '06
  2. by   33-weeker
    Quote from firstyearstudent
    i really don't see how people can carry out hippa, spirit-wise or letter-wise in a crowded hospital with semi-private rooms. with all the exceptions someone else noted, what's the point? to make hospital staff responsible for things out of their control?
    according to a previous post, hipaa makes exceptions for semi-private rooms and intstances of emergencies, etc.

    unfortunately, working in nursery, where we handle very few outside calls and we ask the parents for a 5-digit bracelet # before giving out any info, i'm not as much of a hipaa expert as someone working out on the floor.
  3. by   Balder_LPN
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    There is no way you can not violate HIPAA in a semi-private room. It's
    Statement by
    Richard Campanelli, Director
    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    on
    HIPAA Medical Privacy and Transaction Rules: Overkill or Overdue?
    before the
    Senate Special Committee on Aging

    "the modified Privacy Rule clarified that with reasonable safeguards, uses and disclosures that were merely incidental to appropriate Privacy Rule uses and disclosures would not constitute a violation of the Rule. An incidental use or disclosure is a secondary use or disclosure that cannot reasonably be prevented, is limited in nature, and occurs as a result of another use or disclosure that is permitted by the Rule. The Privacy Rule recognizes that communications necessary for quick, effective and high quality health care might unavoidably lead to overheard communications. Thus, a physician may discuss a patient's condition or treatment regimen in the patient's semi-private room, and a pharmacist may discuss a prescription with a patient over the pharmacy counter, provided that reasonable precautions (such as lowered voices and/or talking apart from others) are employed. "

    There is more on interpreting HIPAA at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/

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