Knock knock. Who's there? HIPAA. HIPAA who?

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by Joe V Joe V (Admin) Columnist Innovator Expert

Specializes in Programming / Strategist for allnurses. Has 26 years experience.

sign-hipaa-form.jpg.cde5bed24f1eeb3d6ce723f64f02ec68.jpg

And, of course the answer to that question is ... I can't tell you that. This is a joke that's floated around for years. But, HIPAA is very serious. Passed by Congress in 1996, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is, in short, for the protection and confidential handling of protected health information. HIPAA is always lurking in the back of the minds of every Nurse: Does this violate HIPAA? I am being accused of violating HIPAA; will I be fired? Nurses everywhere receive education in their Nursing programs as well as from their healthcare employers. Are you HIPAA savvy?

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Mhays

Mhays

190 Posts

Hello, my name is Marcy and I live in Virginia. Yes, I would say that I am very HIPPA savvy. In fact, I was told in one of my nursing jobs that if we were caught violating HIPPA, we would be terminated. My job took HIPPA very seriously. I liked your drawing and it did make me feel some humor into a very serious manner. In my book, it is OK to be serious and it is OK to take things into a more lighter humor way. When I look at the picture, I do not feel that the picture violates HIPPA. When I looked at the picture, it made me think of the whole situation in a more light manner. I do not believe that you would be terminated for what was on the picture, but it is hard to tell because I do not know where you work or what your supervisor would say. My best advice to you is to know your HIPPA rules and regulations in your own work place and follow those very closely. I hope this helps. Good luck to you. Marcy

roser13

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience. 6,504 Posts

Mhays said:
Hello, my name is Marcy and I live in Virginia. Yes, I would say that I am very HIPPA savvy. In fact, I was told in one of my nursing jobs that if we were caught violating HIPPA, we would be terminated. My job took HIPPA very seriously. I liked your drawing and it did make me feel some humor into a very serious manner. In my book, it is OK to be serious and it is OK to take things into a more lighter humor way. When I look at the picture, I do not feel that the picture violates HIPPA. When I looked at the picture, it made me think of the whole situation in a more light manner. I do not believe that you would be terminated for what was on the picture, but it is hard to tell because I do not know where you work or what your supervisor would say. My best advice to you is to know your HIPPA rules and regulations in your own work place and follow those very closely. I hope this helps. Good luck to you. Marcy

HIPAA

Not HIPPA

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 45 years experience. 7,899 Posts

roser13 said:
HIPAA

Not HIPPA

I used to be responsible for grading a paper about HIPAA. More than 50% of them had the HIPPA error in them. Argggh......

Garden,RN

Garden,RN, ASN, RN

143 Posts

I think HIPAA needs improvements and simplification, I don't even like it as a patient. I am sick of signing HIPAA forms at every encounter for me and my children. It has become cumbersome.

Horseshoe

Horseshoe, BSN, RN

5,879 Posts

Mhays said:
Hello, my name is Marcy and I live in Virginia. Yes, I would say that I am very HIPPA savvy.

Lol. Ok.

Garden,RN

Garden,RN, ASN, RN

143 Posts

I dislike HIPAA, while there are good parts to it. It was much nicer when we were just trusted to act ethically and morally and I still look for that with my providers of health care. As a patient, I am sick of the whole thing as well.

egoat1

egoat1

8 Posts

So really and true with some of these so called medical assistant professionals and receptionists no tact nor care when on the front end as they speak to the patient disclosing patient diagnosis and treatment.

Charles Barrow

Charles Barrow

Specializes in Professor of Nursing Research and Ethics. 14 Posts

I suspect that if the patient in the cartoon filed a complaint with HIPAA authorities, they would classify the apparent HIPAA breach as "incidental" and take no action.  This is what happened to me.  I was in an ER cubicle awaiting a diagnosis.  There were no patients there when I came in.  After about 1/2 hour two young ladies entered with a physician.  The physician guided them to a cubicle, catty-corner from the one I was in, and began right off asking one of them personal questions about her sex life.  It wasn't long before I knew her name, where she lived, that she last had sex with her boyfriend the weekend before, that she did not use contraception, etc.  I phoned HIPAA and reported what I had heard and was told that what I thought would be considered a HIPAA breach was, in fact, "incidental" and no action would be taken.

Charles Barrow

Charles Barrow

Specializes in Professor of Nursing Research and Ethics. 14 Posts

A survey I have done suggests that few healthcare providers are aware of what HIPAA authorities (as distinct from HIPAA itself) do permit.  For example, according to one of the Office of Civil Rights' regional managers, all shadowing programs run by "covered entities" are classified beneath the rubric "health care operations" (45 C.F.R 164 164.501)  and as such are exempt from obtaining the prior consent of patients before permitting shadows (no matter their age, educational status, or purpose) to have access to patient's "protected health information" (PHI) and observe exchanges between providers and patients.  The regional manager labels prior consent as a mere "courtesy" rather than an element of patients' right to privacy, dignity, or autonomy.  HIPAA authorities also allow "covered entities" to categorize commercial film organizations (e.g., CBS, ABC, NBC) as "business associates."  As "business associates," members of these organization's film crews have free rein to access ER patients' PHI and to observe or film them as they are stripped naked and catheterized if they are believed to be unable to give consent and there is nobody present who has the authority to represent their interests (usually a family member).  However, these companies must obtain consent from patients (or, if they are unable to give consent, their representatives) before broadcasting what they film. 

NurseBlaq

1,756 Posts

That cartoon is super accurate. I've been in doctors' offices and the front desk staff have no inside voice. Why are you yelling and the patient standing right in front of you?

JKL33

6,319 Posts

2 hours ago, Charles Barrow said:

HIPAA authorities also allow "covered entities" to categorize commercial film organizations (e.g., CBS, ABC, NBC) as "business associates."  As "business associates," members of these organization's film crews have free rein to access ER patients' PHI and to observe or film them as they are stripped naked and catheterized if they are believed to be unable to give consent and there is nobody present who has the authority to represent their interests (usually a family member). 

Hello. Please provide the HHS reference related to ^ this.

I've briefly reviewed what I believe to be the relevant HHS/HIPAA-related information but I'd like to know what your interpretation is based upon.