WhileÂ I am on the HIPAA bandwagon, it occured to me why so much of your private, personal medical information isn’t so private after all. It’s becauseÂ physicians have to justifyÂ their charges to the government and private insurance companies in order to get paid.
Let me explain. A patient visits my office for a medical problem, say, hemorrhoids. They will need to tell my front office staff first as the staffÂ needs to determine whether this will need to be a ten minute appointment or a twenty minute appointment with a potential procedure that may take more time.
Then the patientÂ will be expected to repeat the same information to my nurse who basically runs my life while in the office. The nurse will need to be sure that the necessary equipment is set out and available for me to use should I need special items that aren’t usually in the exam room.
After I see the patient believe it or not, I don’t just run off to the golf course. Â I am required to then record the visit to justify my charges. The government and the insurance companies don’t just take our word for it anymore.
The record (dictation)Â must beÂ transcribed by those managing the EMR (Electronic Medical Record) so that the visit can beÂ placed into the patient’s official medical record.
Lastly, at least one person in the billing department needs to transfer this information to the insurance company or government (Medicare or Medicaid) so that appropriate charges are registered and eventually paid. Now, according to my calculations, that’s five people already in the know concerning your office visit.
What the government or your insurance company does with that information is beyond my scope ofÂ knowledge. I can’t help wondering however, why you get those phone calls from solicitors wanting to supply your diabetic or other medical needs.