Friday, November 01, 2013

New HIPAA Review

This is the first page of the "NEW" HIPAA form due to Obamacare from my eye doctor:

I included only page 1 because the rest of the document was rather innocuous.  Clearly, the most disturbing part is section entitled:


I've highlighted the reasons that to me are most offensive.  In order of disturbing they are as follows:

 1.     "uses or disclosures for specialized government functions, such as for the protection of the president or high ranking government officials; for lawful national intelligence activities;  for military purposes; for the evaluation and health of the foreign service;"
  • Why would my eye records be subject to uses or disclosures for the protection of the president?
  • What is a high ranking government official (i.e., Congressman, Senator, Cabinet Member,  Assemblymen, Mayor, School Board member?)
  • What exactly is a "lawful national intelligence activity"?
  • Military purposes?  Really, does my having reoccurring chalazion effect the outcome of a war somewhere?
  • Foreign service?  Hmmmm....  Just plain weird addition to the list.  Maube just covering their bases?
2.      "incidental disclosures that are an unavoidable by-product of of permitted uses or disclosures;"
  • This seems overly broad.  Does this mean that if a 'courier' shows up claiming to the from "the government" and this 'courier' takes a peek at my records it's permitted as incidental & unavoidable?
3.      "disclosures to "business associates" and their subcontractors who perform health care operations for us and who commit to respect the privacy of your health information in accordance with HIPAA;" 
  • Why is "business associates" in quotes?  Is this supposed to be like "You know "business associates" with a wink & a nod?  
  • Subcontractors?  Why isn't it quotes too?
4.      "for audits by Medicare or Medicaid; or for investigation of possible violations of health care laws;"
  • Since I use neither Medicare or Medicaid, why do they need access to my records?
5.      "disclosures for judicial and administrative proceedings, such as in response to subpoenas or orders of courts or administrative agencies;"
  • I guess this means that anyone with a court order can get access to my records without my consent.  
  • Does this mean even if I am not involved?
  • I get subpoenas & court orders for judicial proceedings, but what exactly is an administrative proceeding?  
  • Can any administrative agency have access to my record?  The IRS?  The local Health Department?  How about the County Board of Commissioners?   Local Board of Elections?  
6.  "uses or disclosures for health related research;"
  • Does this mean by colleges?  Can a masters student at a local community college who may be conducting research for the CDC view my records?
7.    "[specify other uses and disclosures affect by state law]"  

  • None was specified, but I don't know if this is intended as a catch all for any other reason.  It seems very broad..... 

Admittedly, some of this may have already been in place.  I don't have a copy of the old HIPAA form, so I can't say that all of these were added by Obamacare.  Regardless of what administration created them, they seem to allow legal access to my eye records by virtually any person associated with any government agency or their sub-contractors.  This is very BIG BROTHER.

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