I was diagnosed with a mental illness over 25 years ago. I also have had many medical problems including pancreatitis, numerous stomach issues resulting in being hospitalized, had to have my gall bladder removed and was admitted to ICU due to heart problems.
Often times, when I went to the ER complaining of symptoms, they were dismissed as soon as they found out I had bipolar disorder. I was sent home often times with no tests. Then, I would end up having to be admitted.
It was bad enough that my psychiatrist told me not to divulge that I was taking medications that would let the ER doctor know that I had a mental illness.
A really bad example of this problem was when I was in a psychiatric hospital and had numerous health problems that were very evident. I asked to see the medical doctor. He came and told me that I was just crazy and nothing was wrong. He never did any tests. The problems got worse. I insisted that I see someone else. He came again and told me that there was nothing wrong with me. I was eventually discharged from the psychiatric ward and within a week had to have surgery to have my gall bladder taken out.
This is just some background why the HIPPA law really helped me. I was able to go see a doctor and have a fresh start without them knowing that I also had a mental illness. I would divulge that just after I Know they were not going to come to conclusions.
What happened to HIPPA? I recently went to a my primary care doctor who currently has been prescribing my psychiatric medications. I was told that all my records would now be able to be visible by anyone in the system. The system includes all doctor’s offices and hospital in the area. I no longer can have a fresh start.
I was told that this was because of Obama Care. I am not going to get political and am not even sure this is true. I see the value in it. It is great that a doctor in the ER can pull up your history and tests that have been done. This prevents having tests done again and therefore saving money. However, for me, I don’t think it is right.
One thing that has happened after I found out that pretty much HIPPA does not exist anymore was regarding a trip to the Urgent Care. I had gone to my primary care doctor due to a rash that I had for a few weeks. They said it was an allergic reaction. They told me that they were going to refer me to a dermatologist. I hadn’t even gotten a call by the scheduler a week later. Meanwhile, the rash got worse. I was absolutely miserable. One day I woke up and I was covered from head to toe and it was really bad on my face and neck. I was scared and concerned so I went to an Urgent Care. They brought me right back because they saw how bad it was.
When the doctor came in, he said to me “Why are you here? Your doctor’s office told you they would schedule you an appointment with a dermatologist. He had not even seen me or asked me any questions. I told him totally shocked that it had not been on my face and definitely had not been that bad and I was concerned. The people who saw pictures of me have said they would have gone to Urgent Care too. It was because he could access my records that I didn’t get a chance to have a fresh set of eyes. I have no idea if my mental illness played a role in it, but have to wonder.
Do you see a problem with this? Part of the reason HIPPA was created was to avoid this. I should be able to have control over who sees my records. Yes, it was a pain to get things signed, However, it was was worth it to me.
Where has HIPPPA gone? I think it is on it’s way out.