Thursday, September 08, 2005

Cover Your Rig

Here is an update on the earlier story about the clinic administrator who was using HIPAA as an excuse to avoid oversight: his butt got fired---

"Late in Wednesday’s meeting, the board discussed a memorandum that Donahue issued last week, restricting access to the clinic for board members and others. Donahue said Friday that he sent the memorandum to comply with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) County Attorney
James Konstanty said the memorandum does appear to comply with HIPPA. However, Dr. Ben Friedell, D-Milford, said he thought the memorandum went beyond what HIPAA mandates and should be revoked."

The County Attorney is wrong. HIPAA specifically allows as use any PHI that might be revealed to the clinic's board as TPO, Treatment, Payment, or Operations. Also, any PHI that could be accidently seen by a board member walking through the halls would also be visible to other patients. This was blatantly a fanny-cover, and the administrator doing it was counting on nobody understanding HIPAA well enough to call him on it. In the case of the County Attorney, he was right--- the Attorney had an opinion, but sadly it was a wrong one.

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