When HIPPA was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives and signed into law by the President, there was one aim and that was to protect the privacy of patients’ information that might be transmitted over the internet or faxed.  The law clearly states that any patient information transmitted or transferred through an electrical process (fax or internet) is protected by federal law. 

In our litigious society, all health care professionals panicked.  An extremely restrictive interpretation of the HIPPA law was taken.  As a natural consequence, the hyper-protective process was set into place regarding any health information because no one wanted to be the first person or agency or hospital to be sued.  The courts had not yet interpreted this law; and therefore the medical and health care profession wanted to be sure that they were covered.

Sometimes people ask us why The Special Gathering does advocacy.  We are a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  We do classic ministry, evangelism and discipleship.  Why do we extend ourselves in this direction?  It is because much of the lives of our members is involved with the State.   After a state or federal law is passed then it must be interpreted by the courts.  There are many unintended consequences to each law. 

Even after a law is set into motion, the state agencies must write rules which will implement this law.  Again, an array of unintended consequences.  The state and federal politicians, many of whom are lawyers, have a hard time remembering and understanding what a simple law may become.  How is it possible for a family member or a person who is developmentally delayed to understand and to remember the myriad of rules and regulation which control her lives.

This information was passed on to me through our blogsite from the APD State office.  It contains the rules that will be used by APD to help keep costs down for people who are living in their own apartments.  After almost an hour of trying to cut and paste this document onto the blogsite, I give up.  Here is the address that you can use to access it. 

http://apd.myflorida.com/customers/living/docs/apd-17-001.pdf

Whether you are a parent or professional, I believe this is an important document for you to read and keep.

We’ve all seen the ways that HIPPA has changed our lives.  What are some of the unintended consequences to actions taken in your life?  What about your members?  What actions changed your members’ lives and made them better people?