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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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The State of New Mexico is curently mandating use of a computer

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The State of New Mexico is curently mandating use of a computer generated Health Care Tracking tool called Therap with our Developmentally Delayed population. This tool consists of an Aspiration Screening Tool, A Medication Tracking Tool, an 'Echat Form' which includes health history, Blood Glucose results, Pap, PSA testing, weight etc. And finally a Summary page which indicates what 'Crisis and Health Care Plans' that are required to be put in place. ( It is my understanding that no other State but New Mexico is using the Crisis plans or the Health Care Plan) The Therap is an extensive tool and now in addition to what was previoulsy mentioned the State is indicating that a 'Health Tracking Tool' as well as other parts of Therap be included in each persons 'chart'. The Heath Care tracker will be used to place a summary of MD dication after each visit. My concern is that this information is being gathered by the Agencies that are providing support in the community for the DD population and not only does the State have access to this personal information, it is my understanding that the DD population was never advised that this information would be tracked in this manner, or asked if it was ok with them. The explanation I have recieved on why the State can do this is because the DD individuals are receiving either funds from the State General Fund or from the DD waiver fund. This sounds like they are expected to give up privacy rights because they are getting funding from the State. It does not sit well with me and feels like another form of institutionalization, not to mention a violation of Hippa regulations. I also understand that the State has been requiring more and more health and personal data to be gathered since Jackson law suit was brought against them (> than 20 years ago)after inhumane treatment of the DD population was unearthed in the State run institutions. I certainly understand that the State has an obligation to see that the Agencies are doing what they should be doing to serve the DD population, however it feels like they are using very invasive and unneccesary tracking. Its especially troubling that our Individuals have not been informed and dont have a choice on sharing their medical information with people who have nothing what so ever to do with their care or support, other than the money part of the equation. Thank-you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
It is not a violation of HIPAA as long as they have the proper security and privacy measures in place on the computer records. As far as the increased collection of computer information on everyone is not illegal or impermissible by the state and they do not have to inform people what is being tracked. You can try an invasion of privacy suit against them, but the cost of that will be high and their justification is that they have the right under health and safety laws to regulate the practice and they are making use of the newest technology to do this.

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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 90504
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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