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Carrying HIPAA Privacy Regs TOO FAR!

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  • Carrying HIPAA Privacy Regs TOO FAR!

    This bit of nutso-craziness was also reported in Healthcare Security Weekly:


    Hospital protocol prevents drug arrest

    A security guard at the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center in Niagara Falls, NY reported a man with five bags of heroin and syringes who was admitted October 27 to the facility's psychiatric ward, reported The Buffalo News.

    However, because of patient confidentiality rules, city police who confiscated the drugs were unable to get the man's name or make an arrest. Police asked for the man's name, but hospital staff members consulted administrators and the hospital attorney before they rejected the police request, reported the newspaper.

    Police are seeking a woman who visited the man who they suspect of smuggling in the drugs, the News reported.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 11-05-2007, 01:41 PM.
    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

  • #2
    Unless I read it wrong, HIPAA specifically allows a hospital to release protected health information to law enforcement if they have reason to believe a crime has been committed on their premises. (45 CFR 164.512(f)(5))

    People over-react to this HIPAA crap. Just the mere mention of HIPAA causes hospital administrators to lose their common sense.

    One time an admitting clerk refused to give me the name of a patient to fill out a hospital report form, citing HIPAA as the reason. I explained to the clerk that I was filling out a form required by the hospital itself! Didn't make any difference to her - I had to get the patient name from the admitting dept. supervisor. Sheesh!
    Last edited by Badge714; 11-05-2007, 04:31 PM.
    "Striking terrific terror in the hearts of criminals everywhere" Since 1977.


    • #3
      Fear of prosecution in Federal Court + Privacy as Customer Service == Stupidity.
      Some Kind of Commando Leader

      "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law


      • #4
        We had a lady fall and crack her head open on fed property last year. When the FD showed up to treat her, they decided to transport her. I asked the fire guys for her info and they all clammed up, citing HIPAA regs...One told me I was 'just a stupid rent-a-cop' and I didn't need to be filling out reports. I was kind of astonished, as I've never had any problems with any FD guys, before or since.

        I just called a federal officer to handle it, making sure to tell dispatch over the radio exactly what the FF had been saying. Not sure what was said between FPS and the FD, but the info was obtained, a Sgt was enraged, the FD left rather abruptly. Someone mentioned maybe the FF's had just gotten a HIPAA refresher course. Dunno.


        • #5
          I work in a hospital and Have been confronted with the HIPPA monster before. Some nurses refuse to give us information on Infectious disease patients and stufff like that. I ahd a guy who was spitting and swinging as we tried to restrain him. Later that day iu found out from another officer who dealt with the guy earlier that he was a HEP C patient and the staff never said anything. Some nurses lose there minds on HIPPA it sucks. All HIPPA is meant for is to prevent staff from going out and chatting about a specific patients disease and name.
          Here endith the lesson