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(c) 2017 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Privacy Went Out the Window

Privacy, a core element in the workers’ compensation system, is rapidly become a thing of the past. Both the State and Federal governments have not considered it a key ingredient in the program.

States, in their to conversion to electronic claims record keeping, have eliminated privacy. The State of California electronically released workers’ compensation claim data concerning Nadya Suleman, the mother who gave birth to eight babies last week. This was after months of complaints by claimants and attorneys that the California electronic claims system was flawed.

Likewise the Federal law, HIPPA [The Health Care Personal Information Non-Disclosure Act of 1998] governing medical records specifically excludes workers’ compensation medical information. Final Health Insurance Privacy Regulations that were published by the Department of Health and Human Services on December 28, 2000, establishing standards for privacy of individually identifiable health information records eliminate privacy in compensation claims. While the regulations cover health plans, health care clearinghouses and certain other providers who use computers to transmit claims information, workers' compensation insurance carriers are exempted.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee has recently recommended the Congress and health agencies develop a new approach to protecting privacy in health research. In a 316 page report released by their Committee on Health Research and the Privacy of Health Information it concluded that HIPPA does not protect privacy.

As the country embarks on a new economic recovery program, including national health care, the Federal government must rebuild the national system of workers’ compensation system. Privacy should not be thrown out the windows when administering a workers' compensation benefit delivery system.

4 comments:

S said...

What about the injured worker whose ex coworker sat in the back of the worker's compensation courtroom on the day of "trial" and was reading the injured worker's confidential Qualified Medical Examiners report?

This coworker NEVER had ANY management or supervisory positions that would have given him the entitlement to view any medcal record.

However, when he was finished reading the confidential medical report he walked up to the employers defense attorney and placed the report on the table in front of him OVER THE defense attorney's shoulder. The defense attorney merely smiled at the ex coworker of the injured worker.

This is acceptable in the worker's compensation system?

Anonymous said...

I discovered at least 3 criminally altered or defrauded medical reports all subpoenaed by my self-insured employer and used to fraudulently deny my case. One of these records I found during the case.It was someone else's record who had multiple accidents and mental problems.

My attorney refused to do anything about it. The doctor who evaluated it refused to change his opinion.

I wrote to the judge who called a Hearing. The AME changed his opinion by 1&1/2%. I asked that the medical record be removed from my file. It was never removed.

Two years after my case was settled I found 2 more criminally altered and one concealed state disablity certification of job cause.

I was informed that WC files were accessible to the Public, to future employers, future auto insurers,etc.etc.

The WC System needs a nationwide criminal investigation NOW.

Dina said...

What about military doctors who examine injured workers? That is against the USCode 1010. What about yearly conferences held by insurance companies that instruct with books-quidelines on how to write reports to (minimize , so therefore to deny) any injured workers their rightful benefits and or case?
Workers compemsation not only deny injured workers their medical care and other owed benefits but also their constitutional and civil rights. Employers with insurance carriers are given immunity and a free reign to "own" and therefore destroy their workers health!

Anonymous said...

I am not the only citizen blackmailed by carelessly or fraudulently created medical and pscyh records. If one becomes a whistleblower... expect it. phoney medical records and missing file evidence run together a way to silence the protesters. iris