Twelve Important Questions to Ask In The Hospital

1. WHY NO DOCTOR? “I asked to see a doctor. Why can’t I see a doctor if I want to see a doctor?”

2. WHAT IF I REFUSE? “What happens if I refuse to fill out all these questions about my life? Will you deny me access to care?”

3. COERCIVE CONSENT: “Why is the consent for treatment bundled together with the consent to share my data? Are you saying that I can’t receive care if I refuse to let you access and share all my data? Can you find me a form I can use to consent only to treatment and payment?”

4. PROVE IT: “What policy, law, or regulation requires that I agree or consent to share all my data for provisions I find objectionable? Can you show me a copy of that policy, law or regulation.”

5. WHO ARE YOU? “What is your position? What kind of certification or degree have you received?”

6. BEST OR ONLY? “Is this the best medical treatment, the only medical treatment my health plan allows, or the only treatment available to be ordered in the computer?”

7. WHY THERE? “Why are you sending me there; specifically why are you sending me to that facility?” (may be contractual agreement, clinic and hospital owned by health plan, financial kickbacks, location where physician is accredited, etc.)

8. IS IT SAFE? “What is the best hospital for this procedure?” (Your doctor’s opinion is very important, but for additional information on being safe and choosing a hospital and choosing a hospital for surgery, click on these links.)

9. WILL YOU BE MY DOCTOR? “Are you going to be in charge of my treatment while I’m in that hospital, or will I be under the care of the hospital’s employed doctor called a hospitalist?

10. WHO GETS MY DATA? “How much of the data that you’re entering into the computer is available or sent to others outside of this facility. Who are you sending it to and what exactly are they allowed to do with it?

11. GOVERNMENT ACCESS? “What data about me is reported to the state or federal government, and for what specific purpose?

12. DO YOU KNOW HIPAA? “Do you know that the HIPAA privacy rule does not protect my privacy; that more than 2.2 million entities could have access according to the government without my consent? How does that change what you choose to enter into my record?

September 13, 2023

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