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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

my stand on HIPPA…

My Tentative Declaration of Freedom Regarding HIPPA

This voyage of my tiny boat will perhaps be one of the most difficult and simultaneously one of the most technically-demanding and difficult articles I have written. Nearly everyone has heard of or may even have a passing knowledge of the HIPPA laws known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

On one hand I have been told that my writing about various participants of Providence Adult Day Health who share their lives with me over morning coffee narrowly skirts one or more of the HIPPA rules regarding patient privacy. On the other hand, I have also been told that writing about other participants and our interactions between each of us is of little import. At least, as of the time of this writing, it appears to me to be of little importance. Granted, it has never been done before, but that by itself does not make it illegal nor undesirable. Perhaps it is long overdue.
To this end, I hereby stipulate that any articles written by me about other Providence Adult Day Health participants must always be treated with utmost dignity and respect with regard to their privacy, and that if other participants expressly ask me not to discuss any of our interactions, it will be so done. My objectives in writing about our shared experiences are to demonstrate the raw humor, to uplift the sheer beauty and indescribable majesty that sometimes passes between us each day. It is hoped that my deeds will help others will see this and perhaps recognize the inherent majesty in us all, regardless how frail or crippled we may appear.
In the beginning of this transition from healthy and independent, after open heart surgery, when I was frail and dependent, I had the misfortune of residing in several care facilities where my health and welfare were not treated with care. Perhaps the most glaring offense took place at one care facility where, although I am a Type-II Diabetic, I was repeatedly allowed to consume as much high caloric non-diabetic cocoa each morning as I could consume. Adding to that, no one was monitoring my blood sugars, to see the abysmal results. This macabre behavior was only the edge of the iceberg.
The rules of HIPPA, if not my personal legal counsel, prohibits me from actually naming this clinically-negligent organization. However, in retrospect, I have heard from other patients at Adult Day Health, of similar tales of woe about this same facility, and this makes me mad as hell that they are still allowed to remain in business.
I will state emphatically, in my time I have never witnessed a SINGLE event at Providence Adult Day Health that was even borderline. In fact, I have personally witnessed hundreds of instances where staff members (including volunteers) have gone completely out of their ways to accommodate and treat the participants with the utmost tenderness, clinical precision and decency. This, too, is a part of my declaration of freedom from HIPPA, for their endeavors and tender-hearted care at Providence Adult Day Health for everyone should be held up as a standard of excellence, to be emulated and respected by all.

Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.