July 29, 2013
The article that I chose to write about is titled “Privacy Today: A Review of Current Issues.” I found this article on the Privacy Right Clearinghouse website, which talks about many privacy issues that are currently going on. The story that I chose was the twelfth story down named “Medical Records Confidentiality.” According to the article, it is believed that our video rental records have a higher level of security and confidentiality than that of our medical records in the past. With a security and confidentiality level that is a considerable amount lower than that of our medical records, this affects all individuals that go to any medical facility for any type of treatment that they are seeking. A patient that is seeking medical advice and treatment should not have to worry that the advice and or treatment that he or she is receiving, will available for the whole world to view once they leave that medical facility. Having to worry about the security and confidentiality of a patients medical records puts an added stress on that person that is seeking medical attention when the patients are already going through the stress of an illness. That will also add the stress of finding out the severity of the patients illness, the financial stress of both the payment to the hospital and that of if the patients are unable to return to work in which, if off for too long they might not get paid.
During the Clinton administration there was a department that was developed that was named the Health and Human Services Department. The Health and Human Services Department attempted to fix the privacy issues that had come about by developing privacy regulations that were required by the passing of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The regulations that were put into effect in April of 2003 by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act made a big push in the direction and favor of the American healthcare patients. A big requirement that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act made was that healthcare institutions were to notify patients of the information practices that the facility follows and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act also pushed to make the records of the patient available to the patient.
Though the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act made a big stride in the right direction and for the good of the patient, the constant pressure that was applied by the healthcare industry set some of the privacy provisions that were put in place back a considerable in favor of the healthcare industry. The major setback was to that of the patient consent in which consent is not required for information sharing involved in treatment, payment, and operations. (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse 2013)
During the first five years of the enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Health and Human Services department failed to view any of the civil penalties in response to more than 30,000 complaints that were made. The Health and Human Services department claims that their focus is on a voluntary compliance and correction by the covered entities. For the first time since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act went in to affect in 2003, the Health and Human Services Department entered into a resolution agreement with one of the covered entities requiring that the organization pay 100,000 dollars in July of 2008.
Most individuals in our society believe that their medical records are among the most important and sensitive of any information or records about themselves. The problem that I see is that as a society, we believe that the Hippocratic Oath still holds truth today.
Whatsoever things I see or hear concerning the life of men, in my attendance on the sick or even apart therefrom, which ought not be noised abroad, I will keep silence