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Old 03-18-2010, 12:06 PM
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Anyone versed on HIPPA regulations?

Some background on my issue: I purchased a laser hair removal package for 6 visits. I used 4. The company I purchased from has changed names. Location still the same, phone number still the same, physician director is a different physician. Well, they don't want to honor the package, but oddly they have all my information regarding the visits in addition to some medical grade dermatology products (obagi) that I purchased there. Part of the obagi system is by prescription only. Anyhow, I feel like if indeed this is a *new* company they should not have any of my information regarding treatment from the previous company. In the end, I just want to finish out my laser package because it's already paid in full. I feel like it's legal to *purchase* a medical practice if the intent is to fulfill the obligations of medical treatment to the patients of the established practice. However, if you have no intent to fulfill the patient's medical needs then it's a violation to have been given my information. Does anyone know how this should work? Is it OK for a practice to sell the practice including the patient info if the purchaser has no intention to fulfill the needs of the previous patients.

Likely, they would take my money if I wanted to purchase some other service though
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:02 PM
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Well, 1st I would see a copy of the authorization of HIPPA that they gave you specifically at this location, they may have included extra ways they can share your information in addition to the standard privacy laws.

As far as my understanding of HIPPA (from the pharmacist pov) we can release medical information to another health entity (md, insurance, etc) in regards to your care. This can be done between most health providers.

I would have to assume if the previous doctor has protected information that they thought would be important to your care, for your safety, then they could give the information to the new doctor that they thought would be taking over your care. Unfortunately it does not sound like they are wanting to comply with the agreement you had with the previous doctor.

I would start by getting all the releases you signed when you 1st signed on with the previous practice (because they have to have on file a recognition that you were the HIPPA information) and read the fine print about how they can release it. You should be entitled to this info per the privacy laws if they give you any hassle.

I hope you figure it out!
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:17 PM
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1st, it's HIPAA, not HIPPA. Pet peeve.

2nd "I feel like it's legal to *purchase* a medical practice if the intent is to fulfill the obligations of medical treatment to the patients of the established practice" - one business entity has no legal obligation to uphold contracts made with the previous defunct business entity. It might be good business PRACTICE, but not a legal obligation. You have no contract with the current business entity, but have a claim against the former.

3rd - maybe this business isn't covered by hipaa AT ALL. there are very specific conditions. namely " any health care provider who transmits health information in electronic form in connection with transactions". That is to say, that if you do not electronically submit info (like insurance claims, etc), and do everything through paper, none of it applies.

In short, when you purchase a practice, you purchase all patient files, and there is nothing inappropriate about it. A lot of people are under the misguided notion that HIPAA is some all-encompassing privacy pact that prevents anyone from telling anyone else anything about you, and that simply could not be further from the truth
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:16 AM
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Pam said it better than I could.
(I work for the HIPAA Security Officer in a Behavioral Health so I get to deal with this kind of stuff every day.)

P.S. HIPPA is a pet peeve of mine as well.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idalis View Post
1st, it's HIPAA, not HIPPA. Pet peeve.
God I even was thinking so hard when I was typing not to put the double p's...I caught myself doing it and was going to go back and change...that goes to show how good my short term memory is
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:00 PM
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It sounds like legally they are in the "right". However, as a business it would seem like a better move to provide you with the service, let you know that they are doing it at a financial loss, and hope that you return in the future.

If they aren't reasonable and don't give in when you push it a bit. You could try filing a peopleclaim against them. I've found it to be effective and it's only like 8$ or something and you get your money back if the claim isn't resolved. Check peopleclaim.com for that, may be worth it to get those treatments.

Last edited by dsl1; 08-17-2010 at 04:02 PM.
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