1. #1
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    xlonghillfd's Avatar
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    Default HIPAA in your department

    I am just curious to see if the new HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)regulations has affected any CT fire departments.

    This law deals with protecting patient information. It applies to most areas in health-related fields.

    Down south, we are dual purpose (fire and rescue) so we have to comply to all the guidelines. But I know in CT, there are many departments (esp. vollies) that run no medical. So it mostly wouldnt apply.

    But, at MVAs or EMS assists, HIPAA would probably take in affect there, so all of your fire reports might fall into that HIPAA category. So has anyone seen or heard of new guidelines and paperwork regaurding MVAs?

    I am only curious because I know that there are very hefty fines for breaking these guidelines. Wouldnt want to see any of your departments get busted on paperwork mishaps...

    If you dont know what Im talking about, you should probably approach your chief about it. Its a serious thing that just started taking affect.
    Last edited by xlonghillfd; 04-25-2003 at 12:28 PM.
    Ladders dont put out fires... water puts out fires... engines companies rule.

  2. #2
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    Lock box for the medical forms so they can't be perused (should've been implemented years ago).

    Archived incident reports where moved from fairly accessible filing cabinets to a locked room only the three Chiefs have keys for. You'll need official reason to go strolling down memory lane in them...

    Computer system is already compliant -- patient information on it can only be viewed by the original writer & selected officers/administrators.

    Standard Fire & MVA reports will still be available in our incident reports binder. Those usually don't or don't need to contain specific patient information (i.e. "3 patients extricated..." -- if you have more records, like say a mutual aid ambulance transported so our ambulance won't be filling out a report, those patient care reports can go in the lock box & be assembled when the records go to the archives). First responder reports will get put in the lock box.

    Overall, I really don't think it's that big of a deal beyond re-emphasizing stuff we should've been doing all along.

  3. #3
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    after looking into it, I found out that it only applies to Medical fields.. A firedepartment can talk all they want (so can police) about patient information but supposedly medical fields are not supposed to disclose information to anyone else.

    With that said, its suspected that less than half of the nations EMS services are not HIPAA compliant so dont be surprised if you can still get patient information from your local ambulance service.

    Basically, just forget everything u read in this topic.
    Ladders dont put out fires... water puts out fires... engines companies rule.

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