Monday, April 26, 2010

HIPAA Jumps the Shark

[Welcome Industry Radar readers!]

The father of a close friend is about to begin chemo for cancer. His oncologist's office has a special area for this, with seats for up to four patients; each treatment session lasts 4 hours.

Unbelievably, his wife is not allowed to sit with him during this physically and emotionally painful time.

Why is that, you ask?

Because she "might see other patients, which would violate their HIPAA privacy rights."


Seeing another patient somehow violates their privacy rights? What if she was in the downstairs waiting room and one of these poor folks walked out? Wouldn't she see them then? How about on the street?

But Henry, what if one of these patients disclosed their name?

Well, then, that person just waived their privacy under HIPAA; problem solved.

I suggested an alternative: mom should just tell the doc's office that she's gay.
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