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.
New York, July 3, 2007