[ Wednesday, January 16, 2013 ]


HIPAA and Gun Control.  Never thought of those two in the same thought, but two items today make the connection.  First, in his 23 executive orders Obama signed today, he includes the following: "Preserve the rights of healthcare providers to protect their patients and communities from gun violence," which apparently means clarifying that HIPAA does not prohibit physicans from "reporting direct and credible threats of violence to the authorities," and clarifying that the ACA does not prevent physicians from discussing guns with their patients.  The HIPAA clarification was first out of the gate, with Leon Rodriguez writing a letter to providers stating that, "When a health care provider believes in good faith that such a warning is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of the patient or others, the Privacy Rule allows the provider, consistent with applicable law and standards of ethical conduct, to alert those persons whom the provider believes are reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat."  True enough.

Some of the reporting left the impression that a hole was being carved into HIPAA to allow medical information (presumably mental health information included) to be disclosed in connection with background checks required before purchasing some guns; sure enough, one of the executive orders to strengthen background checks contains this nugget: "Address unnecessary legal barriers that prevent states from reporting information about those prohibited from having guns: Some states have cited concerns about restrictions under [HIPAA] as a reason not to share relevant information on people prohibited from gun ownership for mental health reasons.  The Administration will begin the regulatory process to remove any needless barriers,starting by gathering informationa bout the scope and extent of the problem."  If you knew that your seeking mental health treatment might prevent you from being able to purchase a gun if you decided you wanted to exercise your Second Amendment rights, might that inhibit your seeking treatment?

Of course, to make schools safer, they're going to hire more resource officers and school counselors, and "help schools create safer and more nurturing environments."  So the problem at Sandy Hook was that the school wasn't a nurturing enough environment?  That makes as much sense as banning Batman movies in response to the Aurora shooting. 

Jeff [9:46 PM]

Another great example of how all of these great annoying aggreements that you sign everywhere are worthless.

You read it, oh I am protected, and the a few years down the road they change it and you are at risk because you take antidepressant or whatever there agenda is this given week. And how do you tell the difference in drugs that are used for multiple purposes, antidepressants are also used for memory loss and all kinds of crazy things including acne. Don't ask me how the sort that out. Next step they will exempt people who have taken certain drugs from ownership it goes on and on. Now does that mean EVER ? how long ?

This will drive the law of unintended consiquences that we love to play with. People that might need a little help won't risk it. And people who do get help and are fine, are now punished, and some arbitrary formula will determine who is sane and not.

This is not the first trip in this area. The govt has had issues with mental health for years. Go get help, your clearance is at risk. people who are on treatment and fine risk their jobs. A bi polar person that doesn't seek treatment is fine they can stay on the job, just suck it up. CRAZY

And they wonder why people don't trust anything, your info is private, well until the president changes the rules.

this is the type of activity that fosters the distrust the government so rightly deserves. There are much better option.

This I am a hammer everything is a nail approach, there are better options, ripping out protections in HIPPA that people were protected from is NOT the answer.
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