The Coming HIPAAcalypse?

November 14th, 2008 by Webmaster Leave a reply »

Mayan CalendarThere was a television show on at about 3:00 AM the other morning that, once again, predicted the end of the world. This time, it was the manifestation of predictions from two ends of the earth: both the ancient Chinese and the Mayan Indians concluded 5,000 years ago that the world would end on December 21, 2012. (I think that Merlin the Magician was involved too, but he would have been just a kid 5,000 years ago!) Both predictions were written at nearly the same time, and both predicted the same date, but I believe that I have discovered what may contribute to this major catastrophe:

It is my prediction that the collapse of the planet as we know it will come from HIPAA.

According to Wikipedia,

“The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services explain that Title I of HIPAA protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs. Title II of HIPAA, known as the Administrative Simplification (AS) provisions, requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers.”

Sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it? Just hire a full time security person for your electronic medical records, oh and don’t forget to spend millions to create the medical records in the first place. After that, life will be just fine? Right? Wrong.

If you have had little training in what the term oxymoron means, this would be a classic example; “The Administrative Simplification provision.” This provision was intended to deal with the privacy and security of health data. That is also a very noble idea. If two patients are in the same room, and someone is discussing the status of either patient, there should be a sound proof curtain between them. Soundproof curtains would also qualify as an oxymoron. For those of us who have lived this nightmare called HIPAA, Senator Kennedy has often been quoted regarding the fact that his intentions when designing this act have become grossly bureaucratic in their implementation.

Here’s the totally mystifying, Merlin-type description; the standards are meant to improve the effectiveness of our health care system by encouraging the extensive use of electronic data interchange in the U.S. health care system. Seriously, all of this sounds good. The problem comes when hundreds or thousands of government bureaucratic health care wonks and healthcare attorneys are introduced into the equation.

Well, a few weeks ago, according to Managed Healthcare Executive Magazine, the department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and Providence Health Services, Providence Health System, and Providence Hospice and Home Care entered into the first case where a monetary settlement was paid to resolve a potential violation of the HIPAA privacy and security standards.

Providence agreed, without admission of liability, to pay $100,000 to the government over a data breach. This case did not involve a single egregious violation. So, it appears that, HHS may believe that enforcement time has come as they become more aggressive in their investigations and enforcement of these laws. Hence, the end of the world may be approaching. If all of the hospitals are fined into closure, and then the avian flu hits, the most often heard phrase will be “Hasta la vista, Baby.”

I don’t mean to make light of such an important topic as patient confidentiality or the potential portability of health insurance, but, if any of us mere mortals could objectively step back and witness the chaos, expense, and outright insanity created by the current implementation of these statutes, the only objective phrase that could eventually emit from that experience would be, “Holy, $%#@&!”

Share
Advertisement

76 comments

  1. Matthew Hahn says:

    Nick –
    I wrote a similar blog today (http://nocompromisehealthcare.blogspot.com/) regarding the administrative nightmare that is medical billing.
    Health care administration must be simplified. As you say, billing standards, CPT codes, ICD-9 codes were probably (?) established with good intentions, but the reality is that they complicate care, hugely increase costs, and probably ruin any interesting attempts to collect realistic clinical data.
    I have been hearing about you for quite some time. My mother-in-law is Winnie Bernat (my late father-in-law was Bob Bernat)…I’m married to their oldest daughter, Brenda.
    I’m a family physician, working my entire career within community health centers. I’m becoming more and more radicalized as I see patient care and patients suffer at the hands of our unworkable health care finance system, and motivated, good-hearted clinical staff becoming demoralized by a soulless (sp?) system that only sees dollars.
    Health care reform may be the battleground for America’s soul…I’m witness to a humanitarian crisis every day, happening right in front of our faces. It’s hard being a physician in a system that does all it can to disrupt good care…I’m getting involved in health care reform, in a sense, to try to save our profession.
    Would like to meet you…Brenda gave me a copy of your book.
    Matt Hahn

  2. John Franks says:

    I like to pass along things that work, in hopes that good ideas make their way back to me. Data breaches and thefts are due to a lagging business culture – and people aren’t getting the training they need. As CIO, I look for ways to help my business and IT teams further their education. Check your local library: A book that is required reading is “I.T. WARS: Managing the Business-Technology Weave in the New Millennium.” It also helps outside agencies understand your values and practices.
    The author, David Scott, has an interview that is a great exposure: http://businessforum.com/DScott_02.html
    The book came to us as a tip from an intern who attended a course at University of Wisconsin, where the book is an MBA text. It has helped us to understand that, while various systems of security are important, no system can overcome laxity, ignorance, or deliberate intent to harm. Necessary is a sustained culture and awareness; an efficient prism through which every activity is viewed from a security perspective prior to action.
    In the realm of risk, unmanaged possibilities become probabilities – read the book BEFORE you suffer a breach.

  3. Nick Jacobs says:

    John, Thanks for your advice. I’m sure that you would be absolutely amazed at the quality of our little health system when it comes to security, HIPAA, overcoming laxity, etc. It is our absolute obbession. Having said that, the entire context of my post was intended to express our complete frustration with a government imposed system that, once again, beats the mule that works the hardest. Fines, penalties, and public beatings until morale improves is NOT the best route to growth. Thanks for the tip, and I will read the book.

    Nick

  4. Nick Jacobs says:

    Dear Matt,

    Bob was not only a mentor he was also a friend in the last decade of his life. We were both builders, optimists, and, I believe, men with a vision of what could be . . . not what was. He was much more intelligent and complex than mine, but his nature and soul were always good and he was an amazing teacher and profound thinker.

    Having said that, don’t get discouraged. I’m retiring in about six weeks from the day to day operations of the hospital and research institute, and my total and complete dedication in my own personal new world order (beside getting back to music) is to change the system from the ground up. I’m just waiting for a call from Barack . . . (-:

  5. Mike says:

    If you get the call from Barack ask him if he has room for one more. I’d love to get in on the ground level and rebuild this thing we call healthcare.

  6. As you said in the original post, nothing really matters now as in 2012 the Earth will be history anyways. The more I read about 2012 the more I believe it. But no, it won’t happen. Predictions about world failures never really come true, such as the Y2K bug. But still. I’ll be interested to see what outcomes Obama has for this health care system he wants to put in place.

  7. Thank you for sharing this with us. This is what I was desperately looking for and it works like a charm to treat my problem with Obesity. Thanks for everything.

  8. I really enjoy reading your blog articles your amazing way to see things is what keeps me fascinated. I suggest, you could include more topics about health for example infectious diseases Thanks so much!!!!

  9. Love the information and tone of site I found it top banna have a great day and thanks for valuable data
    See my own Site Brsnd Designers

  10. Hey are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  11. a795193 says:

    I’ve said that least 795193 times. SCK was here

  12. a561019 says:

    I’ve said that least 561019 times. SCK was here

  13. Great insights. I loved to read your article. You must be putting a lot of time into your blog!

  14. wow nice gadgets and tech.. love this things..

  15. ???????? says:

    Thanks for your suggestions. One thing we’ve noticed is that often banks and financial institutions know the dimensions and spending routines of consumers and understand that most of the people max out there their credit cards around the vacations. They sensibly take advantage of this kind of fact and begin flooding ones inbox in addition to snail-mail box using hundreds of Zero APR card offers right after the holiday season concludes. Knowing that if you’re like 98% in the American public, you’ll jump at the one opportunity to consolidate credit debt and transfer balances to 0 interest rate credit cards.

  16. A formidable share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a bit similar analysis on this. He actually bought me breakfast because I discovered it for him.. smile.

  17. Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I’m inspired! Very useful info specifically the remaining part :) I maintain such information much. I used to be seeking this particular information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  18. I wanted to follow up and allow you to know how great I cherished discovering your website today. I will consider it an honor to operate at my business office and be able to use the tips shared on your blog and also take part in visitors’ responses like this. Should a position connected with guest publisher become available at your end, you should let me know.

  19. Some truly marvelous work on behalf of the owner of this site, dead great subject material .

  20. Joe says:

    great post, plus love the title “HIPAAcalypse” very clever!

  21. Isaac Newton (Physicist, 1643 – 1727)

  22. Great job on the site but you need some effective SEO so everyone can see it. Here is who helped me

  23. Thu Quihuiz says:

    Thank you a lot for giving everyone remarkably brilliant chance to read in detail from here. It’s usually very cool and as well , jam-packed with a great time for me and my office peers to search your site at minimum 3 times every week to read through the fresh issues you will have. And indeed, I am certainly motivated with the brilliant points you serve. Selected two tips in this article are truly the very best I have ever had. Readmore: Cách thức chấm dứt một số trường hợp lúc dùng máy là đá viên

  24. Scott Bullo says:

    I would like to show some thanks to you for bailing me out of this scenario. Just after looking throughout the search engines and seeing things that were not beneficial, I thought my entire life was done. Living devoid of the strategies to the difficulties you have resolved by way of your entire article is a crucial case, as well as the kind which might have in a negative way affected my entire career if I had not come across your web blog. Your own know-how and kindness in handling a lot of stuff was very helpful. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come across such a thing like this. I’m able to at this time relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for the expert and results-oriented help. I won’t be reluctant to propose the blog to anyone who should have care on this subject. Readmore: Đưa tông màu xanh mòng két vào bố trí nội thất

  25. I was suggested this web site by means of my cousin.
    I am not certain whether or not this publish is written via him as nobody
    else recognize such exact approximately my
    trouble. You are wonderful! Thanks!

  26. Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Thank you for supplying this info.

  27. ???????? says:

    Exactly what you should do to discover more about watch well before you’re left behind.

  28. the web position using my preeminent Facebook or perhaps twitter bunch: )

  29. ??? says:

    This Is The Strategy That’s In fact Helping bag-experts To Advance

  30. After I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that service? Cheers!

  31. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was
    totally right. This publish actually made my day.

    You can not imagine just how a lot time I had spent for this info!
    Thank you!

  32. May I simply just say what a comfort to find
    someone that genuinely knows what they’re talking about on the internet.

    You actually realize how to bring an issue to light and
    make it important. More people have to read this and understand this side of the
    story. I can’t believe you aren’t more popular because you
    surely have the gift.

  33. I think what you published made a great deal of sense.
    However, think on this, suppose you added a little content?

    I am not saying your information isn’t solid., however
    what if you added a headline to maybe grab a person’s attention? I
    mean The Coming HIPAAcalypse? ? Healing Hospitals – Nick Jacobs, FACHE is a little vanilla.
    You should look at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they create news titles to get
    viewers interested. You might add a related video or a pic or two to get readers interested about everything’ve got to say.
    Just my opinion, it could bring your posts a little bit
    more interesting.

  34. Jacques says:

    whoah this weblog is fantastic i like studying your posts.
    Keep up the great work! You already know, a lot of people
    are hunting round for this info, you could help them greatly.

  35. restauracja w mikolajkach Seriously, astounding web site structure! Exactly how extensive are you currently posting with regard to? you have made posting glance simple. The complete search within your web-site is definitely great, plus the subject material!

  36. Puis-je vous reprendre certaine? lignes sur un site internet ?erso
    ?

  37. Je ?uis tout à fait d’accord ave? toi

  38. Je terminerai de lire t?it ça dans la semaine

    My page; porno hard gratuit en streaming

  39. Veola says:

    Wonderful site. Lots of helpful information here.

    I’m sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious.

    And naturally, thank you on your effort!

  40. I’m now not sure the place you’re getting your
    info, but great topic. I must spend some time studying
    more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic information I was searching for this
    info for my mission.

  41. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday.
    It’s always helpful to read through articles from other writers and use a little something
    from their sites.

  42. I do consider all of the ideas you’ve offered on your post.
    They are really convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless,
    the posts are too quick for starters. May just you please
    lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

  43. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your
    blog and may come back later in life. I want to encourage you continue your great writing, have a nice holiday weekend!

  44. Wow! At last I got a webpage from where I know how to in fact get helpful facts concerning my study and knowledge.

  45. It’s really very complicated in this busy life to listen news on Television, thus
    I simply use web for that purpose, and obtain the most recent news.

  46. I get pleasure from, lead to I discovered just what I used to be taking a look
    for. You have ended my four day long hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  47. Sonya says:

    If some one desires expert view on the topic of blogging afterward
    i suggest him/her to pay a quick visit this website,
    Keep up the pleasant job.

  48. cytsbh.com says:

    What’s up everyone, it’s my first visit at this web page, and article is actually fruitful designed for me, keep
    up posting such articles or reviews.

  49. healthy care says:

    I’ve read a few good stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking
    for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to make the sort of magnificent informative
    site.

Leave a Reply