But how can I consent to what I haven't even read?
July 3, 2013 9:39 PM Subscribe
Was my experience with a new medical office as egregiously wrong as I think it was? If so, how do I report what happened?
posted by ActionPopulated to health & fitness (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had an intake appointment at a new doctor's office today, as a prelude for a later appointment with a prescribing doctor. The person conducting the interview asked me a bunch of questions as to why I was there, what my medical needs are, etc, and then handed over a ream of HIPAA paperwork for me to sign.
The HIPAA paperwork had paragraphs describing things to consent to as a patient on top, two check boxes saying 'I consent to x y z' and 'I do not consent' on the bottom, and lines below that to sign and date. As best I can remember, some of the information on the papers was related to HIPAA itself (e.g consent to share information with insurance companies and emergency contacts), some was more broadly related to general medical practice (e.g.the right to refuse medication), and some related to this clinic's specific policies for things like rescheduling appointments. Looking over the papers, I saw that the interviewer had gone ahead and pre-checked the 'I consent' box on every form.
I asked him, flat out, "what if I don't consent?" I told him that, while I personally consented to have my information shared for whatever purposes HIPAA allows and knew my rights regrading medication, I wasn't sure everyone necessarily would. He seemed to shrug me off; I couldn't entirely make sense of his response, but I'm pretty sure he told me he pre-checks those boxes for everyone to speed up the process.
I am not a lawyer and not a medical professional (yet), but this seems blatantly unethical. Am I right to be seeing red flags here? And if I am, who do I report this behavior to and how?
I should note now that I'm not sure if the person doing the interview was actually an MD/PA/nurse. His nametag had another title that I'm blanking on now, and I also, stupidly, forgot to take down his name. (Though I'd know it if I saw it written.)
Note: I was not impressed with this clinic for other reasons besides this, and will be getting my med consultation elsewhere.