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Thread: Hippa

  1. #1
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    Hippa

    I'm wondering how all you guys handle this:
    Sometimes, I have a secretary/assistant come in to pick up glasses, or check on the status for his/her boss. Or, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.

    Now, my understanding of HIPPA is that I cannot even verify that John Smith has been seen here unless you are John Smith, and I've verified two pieces of personal information (address, phone, etc.).
    So, when someone comes in and asks to p/u glasses for John Smith, I ask, "are you his wife?" and they say, "no, I'm his assistant/secretary" I'm not sure what to do.
    On one hand, they're just glasses, it's not like I'm dealing with HIV test results, here. I highly doubt that any information I know about their vision is information that they would consider secret.
    On the other hand, it's illegal to even say he's a patient of ours! I mean, I don't mind husband/wife or parent/child, but boyfriends and employees? I don't want to be an inconvienence to these folks, but I also want to respect the patient's privacy. (When I worked at LC, I was instructed not to even talk with spouses of the patients about their glasses/prescription etc.)

    How do you guys protect patient's rights without being an inconvienence?

  2. #2
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Use common sense and eschew rigid aherence to federal mandates that may change on a whim.

  3. #3
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    Actually I think it has been ruled that all that silly Hippa stuff does not apply to eyeglasses except when dealing with insurance, medicare, medicaid and the like.

    Chip

  4. #4
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    Of all the attended Hippa seminars I've been to, it's always staated to use our best judgement. Some offices take the hippa rules a bit too far. Dispensing glasses to a boyfriend or secretary isn't going to get you in a ny trouble. You need to remember why the Hipaa rules were put into place to begin with. It wasn't set because of you.

  5. #5
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by shellrob View Post
    Dispensing glasses to a secretary isn't going to get you in a ny trouble...
    ...unless his wife finds out!:finger:

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johns View Post
    ...unless his wife finds out!:finger:
    :bbg:
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  7. #7
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    Its HIPAA. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

  8. #8
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    Unless someone is leaving personal information around in view of others I don't worry too much about HIPPA and HIPPA doesn't worry too much about me.

  9. #9
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    I have been keeping my eyes out for any action taken against Optometrists, Opticians, etc. regarding HIPPA. I have heard of none. Does anybody know of anybody who has been charged with a HIPPA violation?

  10. #10
    On the Sunset Tour! Framebender's Avatar
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    Here in town we had an incident where 1 OD downloaded the whole patient base of a 2nd OD. She opened her own office and did a mailing using the stolen database. OD number 2 filed a HIPAA complaint since the database imcluded insurance information and social security numbers.

    After waiting some 6 months OD number 2 was told that there was really nothing they could do since they lacked funds to do any enforcement. The ethics commitee of the COA also refused to do anything calling the matter a personal dispute.

    I thought that was interesting. The moral for me was that HIPAA is a government enity with no teeth.

    :cheers:
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  11. #11
    Rising Star motelska's Avatar
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    As for picking up glasses, I don't see the problem. Even if it's a wife/secretary/friend/child. I DO however inform the recipient of the glasses that the owner/patient will more than likely need them adjusted and LOW and BEHOLD, the patient comes in 3 days later complaining that the glasses don't fit right. On several occasions, the person picking them says,"Then I'll just let him/her know and they can pick them up themselves (usually this is the disgruntled wife that didn't want to pick them up in the first place)."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fjpod View Post
    Its HIPAA. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
    :hammer: Whoops, you're absolutely right. How embarrasing!:p

    I guess that my other concern was as mentioned above, that they come back angry that the glasses don't fit right. Or if it's a first progressive, I absolutely hate to give them to anyone but the patient.

    Sounds like I'm not going to run into any legal problems by servicing my customers in the way that's convenient to them. Thanks!

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