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LADYLAWYER
LADYLAWYER, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6536
Experience:  Civil; Family; HOA; Landlord/Tenant; Real Estate; Probate; Insurance; Immigration; Wills & Trusts
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Please answer how HIPA in NYS applies here : Loved 1 has been

Customer Question

Please answer how HIPA in NYS applies here : Loved 1 has been on pain meds prescribed from 1 doc for years. Pain much worse recently, (she had 2 back surgeries & is told may need a 3rd) took an unknown amount of a non prescribed other controlled med over the past 3 or 4 days. Having medical concerns due to that now. She's scared to go to a hospital that they will/can release her info to her current doc & will be cut off from the meds she does legitimately need for pain. She regrets taking unprescribed med now, but dosn't want to let me take her to hospital due to the worry over losing regular meds. Please advise. Can a NYS hospital release her drug/other info from ER visit to her doc or anyone if she says no I don't want it released? Thanks so much for your time!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 4 years ago.

LADYLAWYER :

Hello, Thanks for choosing Justanswer.com! I look forward to helping you with legal information today.

Customer:

Hi

LADYLAWYER :

The hospital cannot release her medical records to her current doctor unless she signs a release for them to do so OR unless her doctor is the one treating her at the hospital. I do not know if he has privleges there or not.

LADYLAWYER :

If he does not make rounds at that hospital, she has nothing to worry about.

Customer:

neither her pain management doctor, nor her primary care doc will be treating her, idk if either or both have privleges there...

LADYLAWYER :

I would ask the hospital if they do, just to be safe, because if they make rounds there, there is a chance they will see her or her records.

LADYLAWYER :

If you can be sure they are not treating her, it should be fine.

LADYLAWYER :

Thier discovery is not worth risking her health, however. She can always find new doctors if need be later on.

Customer:

I had called around to ERs locally & got a variety of answers... 1 charge nurse, who seemed like he cared & was trying to be honest, though ofc he could have been wrong, said it was in fact the hospital's obligation to give her treating physicians her info as it pertained to controlled substances.

LADYLAWYER :

Does the hospital even know who her regular doc and pain mgt doc are?

Customer:

She's been a back patient since 08. Been to all the local hospitals at least 1X. The 1 we were deciding to go to (not where the nurse I'd mentioned was) surly does know. Insurance knows too. She has Medicare & Medicaid. I'm also concerned about insurance knowing/transfering the info. Other hospitals had given variations on what you've said, that it can't be released w/out her consent... assuming that is the case, can they refuse to treat her if she dosn't sign a consent b4 being seen?

Customer:

like in triage, where she'll have to say why she's there...

LADYLAWYER :

HIPAA prohibits healthcare workers from accessing the records of patients unless they are participating in some aspect of their care for THAT particular issue in which she is being seen. If it an emergency, they will have to see her no matter what she signs or does not sign.

LADYLAWYER :

I mean, technically, if the hospital claimed that they needed to share records with her current doctor and pain mgt doctor because they are currently treating her and need a consult, I think they may be able to get around the HIPAA laws. But again, if she dies or is seriously injured, will it matter?

Customer:

If we expressly state we do not want ANY one else, doctors included to see her record of anything to do w/this visit, that should suffice then? Can they attempt to "entrap" by having some hidden language in the standard consent to treat/consent to bill insurance forms?

LADYLAWYER :

Insurance would not share the information.

Customer:

of course not

LADYLAWYER :

With regard to what you state to them, I don't think it would matter IF they said they needed a consult from either one of those doctors, BUT I would sure state it anyway.

Customer:

Well all the meds she's supposed to be on are already on record w/the hospital, & she will drug test that she is taking them, as well as the 2 she found in someone elses medicine cabinate... so not sure why they would need to consult. Issue sure seems drug related...

LADYLAWYER :

I don't think they need to consult either. They just may say they did if you file a HIPAA complaint.

LADYLAWYER :

But really, if you mention HIPAA and that you wanted it noted in her chart that no mention of this is to be made to anyone outside the treating doctors for THIS particular instance, I think you will be okay.

Customer:

TY for the advise :-) I'm pretty sure we're otw to the hospital presently. Any other last thoughts? OK if not...

LADYLAWYER :

There is no need to say why she took the other drugs. She could have been confused from the ones she was on already and just accidently took them.

LADYLAWYER :

You sound very intelligent, so as long as you paint the situation in the best light possible, there is no reason for them to know why she took the pills, just that she did.

Customer:

Gotcha, ty, & if you pray, please do so for my beloved, if not, just send us good vibes :-)

LADYLAWYER :

And make sure they note the HIPAA issue in her charts. You should be fine.

LADYLAWYER :

I sure do pray! God bless the both of you!

Customer:

Will do :-)

Customer:

You as well!

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