Thread: help with hippa

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    Default help with hippa

    i am looking for information about hippa.
    how dose hippa apply to vol. fire depts?
    what can and cannot be done or said?

    if you listen to people it is a hippa violation for the dispatcher to give out the address of the ems incident.
    i need links to sources of information.
    i don't know about the rest of you but i have a dept. full of he/she said, i said people so it's got to be right - but they don't have the proof to back up what they say.
    please help
    thanks
    tim h

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    Default judging by what the CDC says......

    ALL healthcare providers are covered whether they are paid, volly or whatever.....

    found this link by doing a Google search
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/m2e411a1.htm

    essentially it says that you can discuss anything about the call with anyone else that provided care on the call ONLY. you cannot disclose any information about the patient to anyone outside the call.

    being a dispatcher too, i have also heard questions about the legality of us giving an address combined with a medical condition being a violation, but i haven't found any documentation either way. i have heard reasonable opinions that say as long as you stick with the current injury/illness you should be ok. you need to make sure you avoid anything unrelated such as previous heart problems when all you are dispatching for is a twisted ankle.
    the motto of every midnight shift dispatcher - "I'm up - You're up"

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    I agree with ptfd19, there is no problem saying an address over the radio, it does not apply to dispatch centers as long as you follow protocol and don't say names on the radio. The dispatch center I work for, and all the departments we dispatch for sat down and did a training together. I know that you can get people to come in and give your department a program about HIPPA, which is a really good idea. They way I remember it, I could be wrong, it is geared more toward any agency that provides medical care/transport and bills the insurance company

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    One of the Paramedics working for our Private Provider ALS transport service, Acadian Ambulance, noticed on a few medical calls that there were non medically trained volunteers responding and assisting with treatment of patients. She knew that while some had CPR or First Responder training there were a few on some scenes with no medical training what so ever and they were in the patients home or assisting with packaging the patient for transport. She said that this was a HIPPA violation since they had not undergone medical training and been educated about certian HIPPA related rules. Our little disfunctional VFD tends to play loose with the training requirements and it's not unusual to have members responding to a call who haven't been to meetings or training in months, or years, and have never attended medical training perfering only to be hose jockeys.
    Is there a rule that the only volunteers who should be responding to medical calls are at least CPR or First Responder certified?
    Thanks,
    Steve

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    I never heard anything about people without medical training not being allowed. I wouldn't think it would make a difference, since you are volunteer I am assuming that you don't do medical billing. I was told that is a big factor in how hippa is regulated. As long as the members don't go around saying "so and so called the ambulance because blah blah" there shouldn't be a problem

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    I'd suggest talking with the training officer of the EMS agency that serves your department's area about doing some HIPAA training for your department. I hear recently that fire departments that do not bill or transport don't particularly fall under HIPAA. I'm trying to find out more in that regard, but haven't found much yet.

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    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sea...der=descending

    here is the search page for HIPPA........while it is tricky it is simple. Bascially you need to know if you are a covered entitiy, and go from there. In Ohio first responders can attend to the patient, anyone without medical training is not supposed to touch a patient. Also in Ohio you ned 2 EMT's to transport a patient but can roll to the scene with only 1 if need be. Hope thie helps some, if you have anymore question please let us know.
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    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    All i can say about hippa is that you have to be so careful of what you say. if you use a cell phone to call in to the the patients condition, use the radio do not giv information like the patients name, cell phones and radio's are not a secure connection and can be picked up by anyone with a scanner. you can talk about a call you have been on with any member that responded with you but do not talk about it with anyone else. hippa laws are just so confusing but if you use common sense you will be ok. as far as if someone is giving treatment to a patient and has no medical training this has nothing to do with hippa. this would be practicing medicine without a licence. as an EMT we are certified and not licensed but we operate under the medical directors licence. as you should know the lowest level of EMS training is first responder. the first responders role is to stabilize the patient until more advanced ems personnel arrive all they can really do is general patient assesment, bleeding control, spianl stabilization and cpr
    then you have EMT-B and so on. if someone is providing any treatment that has no training except cpr they better get away from me fast. we had a case of a kid responding to calls and telling ems he was a paramedic and treating patients (he did a real good job) but it turned out he was in high school.

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    All of the websites listed are all good sources for info. Because we are hospital based, we have had a great deal of training on this...HIPPA is designed to provide for patient privacy in relation to electronic storage and transmission of medical information. Essentially, if you don't bill, you do not fall under HIPPA guidelines, dispatch does not fall under HIPPA guidelines. We went through this in our facility as we are paged by the hospital communications staff who takes the dispatch from the 911 center, and initially they were told it would be a HIPPA violation to broadcast adresses on the airwaves. Obviously...that is stupid...how would we know where to go! The problem with HIPPA is that it scared the hell out of every facility that fell under the law back in 2003 with its prmoises of stiff penalties for violations and vague rules....everyone is beginning to relax a little bit now. It is essentially impossible to violate this rule accidentally. You pretty much have to be malicious in your intent to violate HIPPA.

    End story, if you are first response, and do not bill, you do not need to worry about having a notice of privacy practices, or obtain a signature saying that you provided this piece of toilet paper for the patient for their "right to know". However, you should ethically be aware of maintaining the confidentiality of the information you obtain from a patient during the course of assessment and treatment, and you can still be sued for invasion of privacy should you advertise to the world that you found out how small Joe Blow's penis was during an exam.

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    Did he just say penis ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    We require all personnel running calls to have cpr and basic first aid.
    JUST OUT BUSTIN MINE TO SAVE YOURS

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    HIPAA

    Walk up to a whacker table at the PA fire expo... Say to the guy "you spelled HIPAA wrong"... Three-Foot letters over head of the table "HIPPA Information"... It's spelled wrong... H-I-P-A-A. What do you suppose the extra "P" stands for?

    He was stumped... He said it's spelled like HIPPO. So why didn't you just use HIPPO? Dunno. No HIPAA info there, just tacky whacker shirts about HIPAA jokes. What will the whackers think of next?

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    Default Re: judging by what the CDC says......

    Originally posted by ptfd19
    ALL healthcare providers are covered whether they are paid, volly or whatever.....
    That's not entirely correct.

    In short, HIPPA only applies to healthcare providers who (a) bill patients and (b) transmit billing and other patient information electronically.

    IOW, if you don't bill patients, HIPPA doesn't affect you.

    If the FD secretary types all the bills on the old Corona in the back office and mails them, HIPPA doesn't affect you.

    OTOH, the ethics of patient confidentiality was around long before HIPPA. It's simply good practice never to disclose personal information about a patient if it can reasonably be avoided. But if, for instance, putting a patient's name over the radio is necessary to insure prompt patient care, do it.

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