Teri Koff, LCSW, CMC
Aging Life Care Consultant
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Assessing Alzheimer's
Preparing More Care of Elderly
Sensors Help Keep the Elderly Safe, and at Home
Economic Gloom Has Dimmed the Golden Years
It's Harder to Age at Home
Can Profits and Nursing Homes Mix
To Protect Medical Privacy
Courageous Decision at Life’s End
Home-Care Services for the Elderly
Growing Old At Home, in Comfort
Medicaid and the Elderly
When Health Care Breaks the Bank
Alzheimer's Sufferers And Their Caretakers
Men Who Shoulder Care for the Elderly
Managed Care For the Elderly
A Mixed Picture Of a Nursing Home
Elder Care Concerns
Challenge for Assisted Living
Geriatric Care Managers
Widen Doors Into Public Housing; Assisted Living
In Rescuing a Relative, a Helping or a Heavy Hand?


To Protect Medical Privacy
New York Times
 

To Protect Medical Privacy

 
Published: July 9, 2007

To the Editor:

“Keeping Patients’ Details Private, Even From Kin” (news article, July 3) was important because it targeted the pitfalls in the federal law intended to protect confidential medical information.

As a geriatric care manager, I am confronted with the downside of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act on a routine basis.

Many adult children whose parents named them as health care proxies and gave them powers of attorney are shocked to learn that in a medical crisis providers refuse to offer medical information.

The confusion, frustration and unnecessary red tape adding to the burden imposed on professionals and advocates to provide care for vulnerable individuals is a continuing challenge.

The bizarre hodgepodge of regulations that were layered into the law have made health providers nervous about fines and jail terms, and in many cases, they have gone overboard misinterpreting the law.

All Americans welcome the respect for their privacy in medical matters, but not to their detriment.

Teri Koff
New York, July 3, 2007


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