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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12816
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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Is it legal for a hospital in Oregon to give personal care

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Is it legal for a hospital in Oregon to give personal care information to a collection agency when we have been making payments on 4 bills from the hospital and they gave all info to a collection agency down to the last baby asprin given and charged $5.05 for it. Is there no
Doctor /Patient privalege anymore?Total bills were over $40,000. dollars before insurance.
Thank you for your question:

The federal privacy regulations (HIPAA) allow for the release of "protected health information" for treatment, payment (collection), and health care operations without a patient's specific "permission".

There are limits to the information that can be disclosed; specifically they must comply with the "minimum necessary disclosure" rule - giving only that information that is required to perform their duty/action (in this case - collecting the debt). It could be argued that they need to be able to justify the charges ("Why is the bill $40,000?) when they speak with you.

If you are concerned, you can file a complaint with the Department of HHS
Family Physician and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The $40,000 was total before insurance was paid. We ended up with
about $2,000. for the 4 bills,but have a total of about $1800. between both of us and house payment is $1200 of it.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So you are saying that they can provide all care given by all of the medical staff and Doctors and Nurses and all medicine given to the patient, and that is public information? Furthure when we give a payment each month to the hospital, they do not have to accept it and can give to a collection agency who can screw up our credit, and there is nothing we can do? We already wrote letter to Hospital explaining our situation,also Mexicans come in ER stay for days or weeks and nothing is really wrong and they leave w/o paying one red cent! This was relaid to my wife by the nurses on duty there!

The information can be related to the "business associate" of the hospital - the minimum necessary to do their collection of debt. It can NOT be released to the general public.