Now the question is in the last bill I got, a detailed bill for another patient that states tests and procedures performed along with charges. Is this a HIPAA violation and how is it best addressed?
Think of the haters in your life as sandpaper; they’ll scratch you up time and time again but in the end you’re polished, smooth, and spotless..while they end up useless
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
As far as the other let the office know and see if they prefer you mail it back in or destroy. I would think they would want to know because if it happened to you it could happen to another patient. Also I would double check or request a detailed bill of her visit to make sure you are paying the correct visit.
The office is like any other business. Privacy rules are important and someone will have to at least be held accountable for the mixup.
If you don't like this practice seek out another one. The nice thing about continuity of care is the history but these days that is a quick transfer of information.
Interestingly, even though you now can have your adult child on your health insurance policy until age 26, the healthcare reform act did not override HIPAA’s privacy rights... which means that they are legally bound not to disclose her medical history to you without her consent even if you are the primary insurance policy holder.
That's neither here nor there as you are saying that they sent an ENTIRELY different patient's bill with services listed, right? Oy.
Your medical insurance carrier will have a HIPAA violations department - call the customer service number on the back of your card and explain to them what happened and they will launch a formal investigation. It may sound extreme, but there's every chance that your DD's information was sent elsewhere and now somebody else has her vitals. It's a long shot, but I would monitor her/your credit for a bit. I would also send the bill back with a note saying that you have notified your insurance carrier of the error.
Blech. No fun. Let me know if you need help.
[This message edited by Jrazz at 11:07 PM, July 14th (Monday)]
Thinking as I'm writing, I don't know that XH removed himself as guarantor- oh hell he never guaranteed payment. That was my job.
Is there a state agency to report the dr for HIPPA violation?
You SHOULD speak to the Office Manager. Let them know you have someone elses bill and their account number. Shred it, let them reprint and send. The other thing is a lot of offices use an outside source to handle their billing, and billing issues, and if it's a major medical network, it is often done at a centralized location. The OM should be able to direct you though.
If you signed the form of financial responsibility, and your the last one to do so, you are on the hook for the bill. HOWEVER if anyone has signed one since, you are not responsible for the bill, at least in my state.
The financial responsibility form and the HIPAA forms should be different forms, and often will have different information on them. I would ask for copies of anything they are claiming your name is one. You have a right to those.
You may be able to barter the bill down as well, given their crappy response time, their mistake, and breech of HIPAA> They may just want to make it all go away if you raise a stink.
It's still a HIPPA violation. Accidental, still sloppy office billing.
Does the other patients statement have an address? I think I would send it to them with a note explaining that it was in your DDs statement, and you contacted the office but they are not responding.
The reality is the office discussing this with you MAYBE another HIPPA violation. Let the person who had their privacy betrayed deal with the dr office. Hopefully that will make the billing dept more aware when sending out statements.