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Thread: HIPAA and us

  1. #1
    Bad address email on file Oha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Dispensing Optician

    HIPAA and us

    Today I had to call an OD's office to get a copy of a prescription for a new customer.

    The office told me that because of HIPAA they were REQUIRED to have her sign a release form, or call them directly.

    I think they were trying to pull a fast one.

    Does anyone KNOW how the new law effects us getting and giving rx's??


  2. #2
    Bad address email on file
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    I had a similar occurrence. It was a chain store that I had to call to get the patient's Rx, and they gave me the same story. So I put the patient on the phone right then and there. The chain guy used the opportunity to try to talk the patient into not getting the glasses from us! The patient did get them from us though.

    HIPAA had 3 exceptions where a release form was not required. I memorized it as TPO: Treatment, Operations (such as audits), and I can't remember what P is! Payment, maybe?

    So, for the purposes of treatment (and I believe releasing glasses Rx to another entity for the purpose of filling the Rx falls under treatment) you don't need a HIPAA release. I may be wrong, though. I wouldn't assume the OD office is pulling a fast one on you. They may not know for sure either, and better to err on the side of caution. As far as I know, there's no fine for being cautious!

  3. #3
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Dispensing Optician
    I believe the P is payment; such as submitting insurance.

  4. #4
    OptiBoardaholic hip chic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Rochester, New York, United States
    Dispensing Optician
    In my shop, I do not have a Doctor on the premises (nor do I have any affiliation with a Dr.) and so this means that ALL specs sold here use an "outside" Rx.

    It is interesting to see the differences between offices since HIPPA. I would say that about 50% are now asking for a consent from the patient before releasing an RX. I now have a record release form (very simple...with a place for the patient to sign, a line for their birthdate etc.). The other 50% of the offices are divided in how this is being handled. Some are "business as usual" and just release the info. and others are stating that the customer MUST come back to the office to pick up the prescription themselves. Some will tell me the prescription over the phone and others will only fax the information (sometimes the fax is taking hours to receive).

    I have noticed a pattern. The offices that are doing well...those that are not threatened release the information with a small amount of hassle. The know the ones....the ones that are not doing well...the hard sells...well, I think we all know this type of office (whether it's a big chain store or a little independent)...anyway those offices...well, they're making me jump through hoops to get a prescription. But, you know what? It does nothing to help them. It only makes them look silly in the eyes of our mutual patient.

    hip chic

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