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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33102
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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My daughter was transported via ambulance from one hospital

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My daughter was transported via ambulance from one hospital to another almost three years ago (Nov 2010). We live in a small town and she works at Cracker Barrel. The ambulance driver came in CB about a month ago and asked her if she had ever been in a wreck. She said no but she had ridden on an ambulance (it was a mental health issue). He went on to ask her her father's name. My daughter told him and 3 weeks later we got a bill In the mail for the ambulance ride (it has been almost 3 years)!!! It is the first bill I received and it should have been billed to my insurance anyway (which we now have a different insurance agency). So. my question Is 'what this a breech of privacy by him asking my daughter her father's name?' I cannot find a lawyer who works with Hipaa law in our area. I received the bill today. Thankyou

JD 1992 :

Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

JD 1992 :

It may have been a breach of privacy but it didn't violate any laws.

JD 1992 :

I have worked extensively with HIPAA since it was enacted.

JD 1992 :

Leacing out the issue of them requesting the father's name as opposed to "protected health information" there cannot be a HIPAA violation when speaking to the patient themselves.

JD 1992 :

There could, theoretically, be a violation if someone else overheard but asking a name wouldn't be under the facts you described.

JD 1992 :

There could have been a violation for him asking about her being injured in a wreck.

JD 1992 :

However, the courts have said there is no lawsuit possible for a HIPAA violation. Your only possible course of action for a violation would be to file a complaint with the licensing authorities.

JD 1992 :

You could file the complaint against whoever licenses the driver as well as whoever licenses the company he works for if it is different.

Customer:

Okay another part of the story. DHR was involved because basically my daughter went psychotic and was hearing voices. We took her to the hospital to have blood work done and they got a court hold ad sent her to a psychiatric hospital. My husband offered to take her to the psych hospital and theywould not let him. She was 17 at the time and Is now 20. So, shouldn't the government pay for the hospital ride? NOT us?

JD 1992 :

The hospital got a court hold issued and then transferred her to a psych unit?

Customer:

yes

JD 1992 :

How old was she at the time?

Customer:

17

JD 1992 :

You could argue that the hospital should be responsible but it isn't likely to work. The law holds parents responsible for "necessary" medical services whether they agree to them or not.

JD 1992 :

When you say "they would not let him" by they do you mean the hospital?

JD 1992 :

And does the hospital own the ambulance company?>

Customer:

yes. I think so

JD 1992 :

I think you have an argument that you shouldn't be held responsible. However, they are going to argue that she wa sa danger to herself and that is the reason they had to transport her.

JD 1992 :

Do you know if you signed anything saying you would be responsible for treatments?

JD 1992 :

Also, have you paid anything toward the ambulance bill?

Customer:

can they bill our old insurance? I don't think we did at that hospital, but they also gave her a VERY potent antipsychotic drug (Haldol) which we think put her in a downward spiral. She had to be transferred to Vanderbilt for 2 months, had to have 12 shock treatments over 1 month and was put on 26 mg of Ativan (the most anyone had been put on at that hospital). She nearly died and the Haldol they gave her could have been in part responsible. The hospital did not give her Cogentin at the same time as he Haldol as they were supposed to.

JD 1992 :

They could bill your old insurance.

JD 1992 :

However, there is another issue in that an "open account" like this has a three year statute of limitations so if you don't pay anything then they can't sue you after November.

JD 1992 :

Are you still there?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

can't this go on our credit report if we don't pay and ignore the bill

JD 1992 :

Yes, they can put it on your credit report for seven years from the date it happened.

JD 1992 :

Anything else I can assist with?

Customer:

no thanks.

JD 1992 :

All right, I'll exit to assist others. Best wishes to you on this and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I’d suggest Excellent!) so I get credit for my work. The website only gives credit to the expert if you give a Positive Rating.

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Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.

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