Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Scouring your PHI from Everyone, Everywhere, All at Once

My latest is now up over at BenefitsPRO

You come to work one day, and notice Susan is not there. Nobody knows what happened to her, and everyone appears oddly tight-lipped about her absence. Finally, you and your coworkers are told she has taken a leave of absence. No other details are given. Attorneys, corporate compliance officers, and human resource personnel have been properly coached as to the myriad of stringent health privacy rules in the workplace, and everyone is rightfully paranoid.

I am reminded of an eccentric law professor I had who relished saying, “No good deed goes unpunished,” whenever discussing the inevitable unintended consequences of legislation or contract terms.

But after 22 years of HIPAA Privacy, I am not even sure the main impetus behind its passage was ever a good deed – at least not for those who have weaponized its use against employers.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule was designed to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information. However, the latest practices by health insurance carriers raise serious concerns about how they circumvent these rules to maximize premiums. ...

I spent some time with Armstrong and Getty this morning, discussing this story and the hidden tax built into all of our employer plans due to Medicare and Medicaid's chronic inefficiency and underpayment.