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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why I hate HIPAA

I tried to come up with a suitable analogy as to how HIPAA has obstructed progress in development of effective and efficient approaches to health care. I could not. Every day I am faced with barriers to implementation of strategies to deliver safer and more patient oriented approaches to health care and more often than not (much more often than not), problems center around the problems created by HIPAA.

Most industries live or die on the basis of timely information. Medicine is no different. Health care has become complex with many moving parts, mostly the activities of armies of people engaged in diverse activities related to getting sick people healed or preventing well people from getting ill. The present structure of health care delivery is moving to a model where there is no single individual who directs the care of individual patients. On this background add ill conceived and ill-defined regulation which creates a mindset of fear... fear of communicating except by using the most awkward and cumbersome methods. 

Let me think about this. Provide no financial rewards for communication and coordination of care and then put punitive and hard to define regulations in place which serve as a deterrent to effective communication. I can't imagine what the outcomes might be???? What are these people thinking. Perhaps privacy is even more important than life itself. Clearly it is more important than effective health care delivery.

Fortunately this insanity does not reach much beyond our borders.

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