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Author Topic: PA considers looser addiction treatment confidentiality rules  (Read 1209 times)

byron mc

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PA considers looser addiction treatment confidentiality rules
« on: February 24, 2008, 10:18:26 am »

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...argue loosening the regulations is tantamount to letting insurers eavesdrop on patient-counselor conversations that can delve into deeply personal topics, such as relations with family members.

"We agree ... that an unintended consequence of the proposal could be fewer people seeking and receiving treatment for their drug and alcohol addiction problems for fear that personal and potentially embarrassing information could be released to others," the Independent Regulatory Review Commission said in written comments released Feb. 13.

Johnson has an ally in Public Welfare Secretary Estelle Richman, who said Pennsylvania's current confidentiality requirements far exceed those in federal law, making them the strictest in the nation.

At the same time, she agrees that the new regulations safeguard the privacy of any information that is not essential for insurers to determine whether a treatment is medically necessary.

"They don't need to know whether you've been in and out of child welfare," Richman said. "They do need to know whether you've been struggling with addiction issues."


Pa. considers looser addiction treatment confidentiality rules
Associated Press Writer
02/24/2008
http://ydr.inyork.com/ci_8352185
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Roy J. Tellason

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Re: PA considers looser addiction treatment confidentiality rules
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2008, 12:37:31 am »

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"We have a system where one (service) provider is not allowed to talk to another," Health Secretary Dr. Calvin Johnson said. "The system is not working in the best interest of the client."

This is all over the damn place.  Providers,  pharmacists,  just about everybody in the business of health care in any way is seriously paranoid ever since HIPAA kicked in.  I had to get a signed consent form on file to be able to pick up a prescription at the drug store for my other half,  and vice versa.

Let them keep making more rules,  more laws,  and eventually they'll all end up paralyzed,  and unable to act at all.
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byron mc

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HIPAA and Google
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2008, 02:08:41 pm »

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"We have a system where one (service) provider is not allowed to talk to another," Health Secretary Dr. Calvin Johnson said. "The system is not working in the best interest of the client."

This is all over the damn place.  Providers,  pharmacists,  just about everybody in the business of health care in any way is seriously paranoid ever since HIPAA kicked in. 

well it get's trickier because these are NOT covered by HIPAA and yet your medical records will be in databases that who knows can have access with or without a subpoena:

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The pilot project announced Thursday will involve 1,500 to 10,000 patients at the Cleveland Clinic who volunteered to an electronic transfer of their personal health records so they can be retrieved through Google’s new service, which won’t be open to the general public.
Google Health
February 22, 2008
http://www.emrandhipaa.com/emr-and-hipaa/2008/02/22/more-google-health-fodder-cleveland-hospital-starting-first/

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The clinic already keeps the personal health records of more than 120,000 patients on its own online service called MyChart. Patients who transfer the information to Google would still be able to get the data quickly even if they were no longer being treated by the Cleveland Clinic.
If the medical records aren't protected by HIPAA, the information conceivably also could be used for marketing purposes.
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/02/22/business/NA-TEC-US-Google-Health.php

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Rival Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) last year introduced a similar service called HealthVault, and AOL co-founder Steve Case is backing Revolution Health, which also offers online tools for managing personal health histories.

The third-party services are troublesome because they aren't covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPPA, said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, which just issued a cautionary report on the topic.
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080221/D8UUN0100.html

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Google Health, codename “Weaver”, is Google’s planned health information storage program
August 14, 2007
First Google Health Screenshots
screenshots of the Beta software
http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-08-14-n43.html

technically the Cleveland Clinic hospital is already using a third party online service MyChart that is not covered under HIPPA.
The big issue is Google, Microsoft, and AOL are huge companies that use this data for other revenue generating reasons and the bigger the company is the bigger the database is that covers many hospitals and clinics and doctors since it is a national system of medical records and not compartmentalized by hospital. This would give health insurance companies a broader view of what a patient is doing that they are not necessarily being notified about if they had access.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 02:14:22 pm by byron m »
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