Medical helicopters HIPAA

west-pac

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Why is it medical helicopters can give a full name, date of birth, and patient condition/injuries, and it's not a HIPAA violation? I've heard this dozens of times over the air.
 

kruser

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Why is it medical helicopters can give a full name, date of birth, and patient condition/injuries, and it's not a HIPAA violation? I've heard this dozens of times over the air.
I've seen it discussed here in other forums that HIPAA rules do not apply to radio communications by first responders.
I have no idea how true or untrue that may be but it's what I've read several times before when this question comes up.
 

mmckenna

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HIPAA rules don't apply in situations like this. Patient info can be transmitted in the clear.

Actually the entire HIPAA rules have a lot of loopholes to make sure patient care comes first and foremost.
 

ecps92

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Medical Helo's fall under the sames rules as an Ambulance. especially since they generally Bill the Patient/InsCo

That said, if the need exists to share that information, in the best interests of the patient, to as provide appropriate medical care, then that is the exemption.

The public safety exemption that is bantered about, ONLY applies to "Non Billing" entities.
So if the Police run the ambulance service and BILL the patient - they are not exempt


Why is it medical helicopters can give a full name, date of birth, and patient condition/injuries, and it's not a HIPAA violation? I've heard this dozens of times over the air.
 

west-pac

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Medical Helo's fall under the sames rules as an Ambulance. especially since they generally Bill the Patient/InsCo

That said, if the need exists to share that information, in the best interests of the patient, to as provide appropriate medical care, then that is the exemption.

The public safety exemption that is bantered about, ONLY applies to "Non Billing" entities.
So if the Police run the ambulance service and BILL the patient - they are not exempt
That is exactly what I thought. I knew HIPAA doesn't apply to police and fire depts. On 2 occasions over the past 2 hours I've heard the ER nurse talking to the helicopter ask for name and date of birth.
 

ecps92

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But it does apply to PD and FD, the caveat is "Providing and billing" for the services.

In my area we have plenty of FD who run the Ambulance and bill, so HIPAA applys.
Been a long time since I ran across an EMS service under the PD's but.. same would apply


That is exactly what I thought. I knew HIPAA doesn't apply to police and fire depts. On 2 occasions over the past 2 hours I've heard the ER nurse talking to the helicopter ask for name and date of birth.
 

DiGiTaLD

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Most traffic I've heard, they use initials in phonetics and give an age but not a date of birth. In my experience, most personnel are under the impression that it is a HIPAA violation to use personally identifiable information (PII) over the air. A couple years ago I set up a non-emergency medical transportation department on a commercial DMR system I manage. I specifically set up their radios to use enhanced privacy (encryption) when on their talkgroup so they could use PII over the air if they wanted to. They still won't do it.
 

DJ11DLN

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I may be odd man out here but I almost never hear patient names given over the air, here or in the surrounding counties. Very rarely and usually in the case of someone who has certain issues which the hospital is aware of but that's about all. When I was still active in the VFD giving any personal info about a patient over the radio was a huge no-no and whenever somebody slipped up and even said something along the lines of, "It's David L. again," there was usually a thunderbolt from the EMA or the Sheriff a few hours later.
 

milf

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I may be odd man out here but I almost never hear patient names given over the air, here or in the surrounding counties. Very rarely and usually in the case of someone who has certain issues which the hospital is aware of but that's about all. When I was still active in the VFD giving any personal info about a patient over the radio was a huge no-no and whenever somebody slipped up and even said something along the lines of, "It's David L. again," there was usually a thunderbolt from the EMA or the Sheriff a few hours later.
IN is the SAME as EVERY State I have lived in on this. The only times I ever hear any EMS agency give any info of even slightly personal type is on transfer verifications, and the VA. The only danger button I hear right now being done is racial identification. Totally unnecessary PERIOD, and in these times is in the STUPID category. The ER does not need to know if its a black male, white female, asian etc... If there are language issues, then yes say you will need a "XYZ" Interpreter/Translator, but WTF does race have to do with a damn thing?
 
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