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RE: THE 'AHIMA PARADOX'
TO: Med-Privacy and PAIN-L: May
RE: Privacy of Medical Records and AHIMA (American Health Information
Management Assoc) 2 CONSUMER BROCHURES ON CONFIDENTIALITY/ policy brochures -
" The AHIMA PARADOX"
NOTE: (I am sending this consolidated paper to both lists because my
incapacitation is increasing rapidly, and, based upon my appt. yesterday,
with the orthopod who is 1/2 of the operating team working on me, it may be
late June or July before I get this cervical malfunction corrected by
surgery- so please excuse me not writing separate communique's) I have
conserve time and extremely limited abilities and energy...ag
^^ Several weeks ago, I wrote (e'mail'ed) Kathleen Frawley, JD, MS, RRA,
Director of AHIMA*, the Amer. Health Information Mgmt Assoc., about some
brochures she sent me last year, regarding modern health information and
privacy/confidentiality ( I have misplaced them, so please contact her or
AHIMA about which brochures they are/were). There were two of them, and she
had told me 5-6 months ago they were being widely distributed, (yet I have
never seen a one in any doctor office I have ever been to).
My point was, one page (page 4, I believe) of the second brochure said
something to the effect of BE WARY OF ANY INSURER/EMPLOYER/WORKER COMP OUTFIT
THAT DEMANDED TO SEE ANY & ALL OF YOUR MEDICAL FILES! The implication was
they could be used against you. This means by releasing your entire medical
history going back to childhood, including OBGYN notes, psychological
individual session notes and other HIGHLY sensitive (and easily abused)
information about yourself, you could be setting yourself up for abuse and
mis-use of your medical files.
The reason I wrote Ms. Frawley was this: *this* POLICY is a paradox!
IF YOU DO NOT RELEASE YOUR ENTIRE MEDICAL HISTORY, SAY IF YOU ARE RUN OVER BY
A TRUCK and brain damaged for life, MUGGED on the job, or on the street, HAVE
SOME NEGLIGENT EMPLOYEE/co-worker RUN OVER YOU WITH A TOWMOTOR, HAVE YOUR
NECK BROKEN BY A RECKLESS DRIVER, OR HAVE A WORK RELATED DISABILITY, THE
CLAIM WILL NOT, repeat, not BE PROCESSED UNLESS YOU GIVE A FULL,
UNLIMITED AND UNIVERSAL RELEASE to the insurer.
Hence the paradox. She said and the brochures said AHIMA is all for privacy
and confidentiality, and yet, her (AHIMA's) brochure said to be very wary, as
in DO NOT, sign a universal, general release. In other words, if you don't
want to be abused, insulted, and have a witch hunt pointed at you, for your
'dirty laundry' by the insurers, don't give them the release. WHAT THIS DOES
NOT COVER IS, THAT LEAVES THE INJURED OUT IN THE COLD, OUT OF LUCK, AND
UNABLE TO PURSUE THE DAMAGER FOR THE RESULTANT USUALLY MASSIVE MEDICAL BILLS
AND/OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES.
I asked her to explain this paradox to me, nearly a month ago; So far, to my
knowledge, I have received no reply, from AHIMA about this apparent double
standard and paradox of being for privacy, yet dissuading persons from filing
claims, by giving universal releases.
The fact is, in this nation, you CANNOT have ANY auto insurer, disability,
worker comp, administrative, EAP, or other claim processed WITHOUT giving
full and comprehensive access to each and every page of each and every file
from each and every doctor you have ever seen in your life. Hence, I believe,
the reason she and AHIMA never answered this e mail. There is the paradox,
and the place THE INJURED STAND IN THIS COUNTRY. You cannot be processed
without the witch hunt, the fishing expedition, and the search for dirty
laundry on YOU to dodge the claim. In other words, she had no answer for my
question. In other words, if someone else's negligence causes you permanent
disability, injury, extraordinary pain and suffering, pay for it yourself.
I rest my case.
for everyone's information:
* AHIMA is located at American Health Information Management Assoc.
1225 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
I suggest anyone, especially medical patients who may have any claim,
adminsitrative hearing or other insurance dispute, in process, and has any
interest in the risks of releasing any and all files, or WHO WOULD LIKE
COPIES OF THE TWO BROCHURES ON CONSUMER CONFIDENTIALITY, OR, ANYONE, who has
misgivings about this apparent contradiction and paradox, in policy and
AHIMA's position about patient privacy, in detail, contact Ms. Kathleen A.
Frawley, JD, Director. You will find she is very polite, very professional
and courteous, yet she can be somewhat evasive on ocassion..particularly in
areas of contention such as this.