I saw this comment on Kevin MD’s blog about a rant of mine. The url is: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2008/01/paying-cash-for-narcotic-prescription.html#comments
The attitudes shown on the referenced blog also show why there is no confidentiality once a RX is filled.
I had a doc who needed an antidepressant as a patient. The big clinic/hospital that he worked for also owned the insurance company, and he was in a political struggle within the administration. Given a history of personal destruction as a political tool, he didn’t trust them to not use his medical care history against them.
Okay, right there screams that we aren’t getting the entire story. I fill Rx’s for Doctors all the time for stuff like this, and to be honest nobody gives it a second thought or look.
So he paid privately in cash for the treatment, and then went to a different pharmacy than his usual one, gave them no insurance information and paid cash for the prescription.
The pharmacy somehow uploaded the information to the insurance company anyway, where it was tapped by administration.
Something obviously isn’t right there. I can’t fill an Rx for an Insurance company 99% of the time WITH the card, what makes you think that we can just ‘transmit’ and have it magically go through? Gimme a break, now this story either screams exaggerated or made up. The chances that some pharmacy can just ‘guess’ the information from a private insurance patient who did not provide any card/info is on the same playing field as us getting U&C for Rx’s.
His investigation uncovered all this after he was beat over the head and insulted with his “mental disability” as evidenced by taking prozac during a contentious meeting with his medical director.
Prozac for a ‘mental disability’? Right. I wonder where the HIPAA police were during all of this? Oh, they were paid off by the ‘administration’ to keep their mouths shut.
Stopping drug addicts is all well and good, but the patient’s right to privacy and need for it is not obviated by the “war on drugs”—and he shouldn’t have to give that up to stop addicts from gleefully killing themsleves. I understand where the pharmacist is comming from. The state puts him in the position of policeman. But it shouldn’t be like that. We shouldn’t have to go to a policeman for our medical care.
You’re right, we should just make Vicodin over the counter, and when a doped up addict comes crashing through your front door looking for more cash for his dope and murders/rapes your family you can rest assured that his privacy was protected. Give me a fucking break and come back from bizarro-land. Addicts dont just kill themselves, they hurt other people in the process of their dope. Those that don’t end up on the state system that US working folk have to pay for over something that THEY did to themselves. I dont know about you, but I don’t want to pay for a liver transplant for someone who has never worked an honest day in his life, and who’s only accomplishment is how much vicodin he can pop before passing out.
Regarding these databases to catch pill poppers—anyone who doesn’t think that is going to be used sometimes by snoops to personally or politically destroy enemies fell off the turnip truck yesterday. It’s very existence creates a barrier to legitimate medical care for some.
Let me get some more tinfoil for your hat.
Anyone thinks that Rush Limbaugh wasn’t a political target? Notice how they used search warrants rather than supoenas to get his records? Remember the viagra incident–cleary a deliberate ploy to use his (non-controled) med use to embarass him.
Any number of public and not so public characters have legitimate reason to fear filling something so benign as Prozac, viagra, or a properly used opiate RX in the information juggernaut that the pharmacy industry has created.
Uh, a supoena is a form of search warrant. If the police come with a search warrant and want Rx records, then by all means I need to provide them just as if they came with a subpoena. Just a search warrant is “Dont get up, i’ll get those myself” vs “fax these over when you get a free moment”. Rush was getting a huge amounts of oxycontin, a C-2 narcotic. A tad bit different than the person who gets his vicodin 2 weeks early.
That being said, here is some more tinfoil for your hat.