Notice to Patients: Doctors and Hospitals Must Treat You Even If You Refuse to Sign the HIPAA ‘Privacy’ Form

***NEWS RELEASE***

 

For Immediate Release
March 8, 2016

CONTACT:
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com 

Notice to Patients:

Doctors and Hospitals Must Treat You Even If

You Refuse to Sign the HIPAA ‘Privacy’ Form

 

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: HHS’ Office for Civil

Rights Reminds Patients They Are Not Required to Sign HIPAA

 

ST. PAUL, Minn.—It’s certainly not a much-publicized fact, but patients are not required to sign the HIPAA “Privacy” Notice at their doctor’s office, hospital or clinic. And, medical professionals cannot refuse to treat patients who choose not to sign the form.

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org) has long educated Americans that they are not required to sign the HIPAA form—which does not protect private medical information at all. In fact, CCHF says, under HIPAA, more than 2.2 million entities have access to patient data according to HIPAA-permitted purposes without patient consent—whether the form is signed or not.

“There’s definitely not much advertising of the fact that patients are not required to sign the HIPAA form or the Notice of Privacy Practices statement, or the fact that doctors and hospitals cannot refuse to treat individuals who refuse to sign,” said Twila Brase, president and co-founder of CCHF, a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn., existing to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. “Many doctors, nurses and clinic administrators might also be uninformed about the fact that they still must treat patients even if they do not sign the form. The HIPAA privacy rule only says a clinic or hospital has to provide the patient with a ‘Notice of Privacy Practices’ and make ‘a good faith effort’ to have patients sign a statement acknowledging they received it.”

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informs patients of their rights through a document titled “Understanding the HIPAA Notice” on its website. Under the section, “Know What You Are Signing,” the OCR reminds patients that: 1) “If you choose not to sign, your provider must keep a record that they did not get your signature, but they still have to treat you;” and 2) “If you choose to sign, you have not given up any of your rights or agreed to any special uses of your health records. You are just stating you got the Notice.”

CCHF also works diligently to inform patients of their rights through its web page dedicated to HIPAA here, including these five reasons why patients should not sign the form:

  1. Exercise your rights under the law not to sign the HIPAA privacy form or the Notice of Privacy Practices acknowledgement statement on many clinic and hospital consent forms.
     
  2. Refuse to participate in the deception that the HIPAA form or the Notice of Privacy Practices statement protects your privacy.
     
  3. Enlighten the clinic and hospital staff on the truth about HIPAA and your right not to sign.
     
  4. Prevent the clinic from waving the signed form under your nose and claiming that you should have known when you complain after learning they shared your confidential data without your consent.
     
  5. You will help CCHF move the nation toward the truth about HIPAA and its eventual repeal (and restoration of patient consent, personal control, and ownership rights to one’s own medical and genetic data).

On its site, CCHF also provides patients with a printable, double-sided, wallet-sized card they can carry to the doctor’s office in case there is confusion about signing requirements or treatment.

CCHF also collects stories from those for its special “HIPAA Hurt Me” initiative. See a sample here. Other patients can also share their HIPAA stories with CCHF at www.HIPAAHurtMe.org.

Brase discusses the “HIPAA Grand Deception” frequently on CCHF’s daily one-minute radio feature “Health Freedom Minute.” Heard on 367 stations nationwide, including nearly 200 on the American Family Radio Network and 100 on the Bott Radio Network, “Health Freedom Minute” helps listeners learn more about the agenda behind health care initiatives, as well as steps they can take to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. The 60-second program is free for stations to run; for details, contact Michael Hamilton at mhamilton@hamiltonstrategies.com or (610) 584-1096 or (215) 519-4838.

For more information about CCHF, visit its web site at www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cchfreedom or its Twitter feed, @CCHFreedom.

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn., exists to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. CCHF sponsors the daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which airs on approximately 350 stations nationwide, including nearly 200 on the American Family Radio Network and 100 on the Bott Radio Network. Listeners can learn more about the agenda behind health care initiatives and steps they can take to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. 

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