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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:29 pm 
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I have to be quick but Today my pcp doctor who didn't know that I was on suboxone called the my pharmacy and asked about my prescriptions and without hesitation the pharmacy told him when and how much suboxone I was on. Is this legal? I thought this information was private. I very upset about this. what can i do? do I have a lawsuit? By the way for anyone wanting to keep there info private do not go to WALMART. they are the ones that did it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:14 pm 
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I don't have the answer to your question but I don't think they are supposed to do that. I know the insurance company will send out duplicate notices to your doctors if you are getting the same types of meds from two doctors, like when I would get suboxone from my sub doc and then got painkillers for surgery, they sent the multiple report to my doctor. But I think that was the insurance company and not the pharmacy. I wish I was of greater help. I would really like to know the answer to this question. I would be pretty pissed off.

Cherie


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:45 pm 
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I did a quick google search and found this under "HIPAA Made Simple: Pharmacist’s Survival Guide".


"The law stipulates who you can give information to…and who you cannot. One concept is that you CAN disclose information to
another health care provider as long as the other health care provider has a treatment relationship with the patient and has informed the patient of their own privacy policy."


I found a few other things that basically said the same thing - if it's for the health of the patient and the receiver of the information understands the need to keep confidentiality (i.e. another health provider), then they can disclose it.

That's just what I found on this cursory search. I can't guarantee that this is correct though.

I'm really sorry that happened to you. I'd be pissed as well, regardless of the law.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:49 pm 
Unfortunately I don't know the answer either. I just wanted to add that I'm supposed to get my prescriptions from Caremark (CVS) mail order. However, when I've gotten scripts from other non-CVS pharmacies they show up on my Caremark account - so they're all part of a linked system. It's possible that the doc, being your primary care physician can legally see the scripts. I'm not sure, maybe you can access the HIPPA laws online or get a copy from the pharmacy. I didn't tell my pcp either, and the last time I went there I was wondering if they were going to know.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:53 pm 
My reply is not based on direct knowledge of the specifics of the privacy laws. It is based soley on my experience in the healthcare field. I do not believe our information is protected when it comes to it being shared from one provider to another, i.e. your pharmacist and your doctor. I'm pretty sure the law is that your information cannot be shared just 'willy-nilly' to whomever asks. But it can be shared when and as it pertains to the delivery of our healthcare.
Back in the day, I worked in a private practice, and I was not an addict yet (else I probably wouldn't have asked these questions.) There were a few occasions when I had suspicions of a patient doctor shopping or having a problem with pills. I would ask the pharmacist what other meds that patient had on file and they would tell me everything I wanted to know.....no questions asked. This was long before the tracking systems though the DEA were put into place.
I know it's frustrating and it bothers me a lot too, but it is one way that the 'system' of healthcare providers can take better care of us. I hate to say this too....but it's getting ready to get a lot worse, or better depending how you look at it. Most all medical charting is going to computer. Even ambulances are soon going to be outfitted with systems that allow the emergency responder to pull up your medical information probably including what Rx's you have out there. This is great if you're unconscious I suppose.....not so great if you enjoy having the right to choose what information everybody gets about you.
It's bad enough that we have to carry the label 'addict' but could we at least choose who we want to share that with?! I totally get how you would feel violated, but I don't thing anyone has done anything wrong or illegal. Sorry. But on the other hand, I'm not 100% sure. Wish we had us a good lawyer on the forum!! Oh well, they'd probably send us a bill!! just kidding!!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:26 pm 
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I'm not a lawyer, but I am married to one...unfortunately, he does commercial litigation (corporate law), so this isn't his area of expertise. But, I did work for doctors (insurance billing and office management), and I can almost guarantee you that, at your first visit and maybe yearly, you signed a bunch of papers. One of those was a long document informing you of your HIPPA rights....call the office and see if yo can get a copy of that. Our office privacy notice listed certain people that we were allowed to share medical information with (consulting physicians, partners within the practice, hospitals in case of admission, and pharmacies)....see what your form said to be sure. In our case, we treated a lot of older people, and needed to contact the pharmacy to make sure that the patient wasn't on any other medications that could interact with what we were prescribing....most people just told us, "I take that little round white pill in the morning....you know the one..."

Also, for those of us who enjoyed doctor shopping, some of us were caught when the doctor received a copy of all our prescriptions courtesy of the DEA (I know I had that fun visit), so I have to believe there is some sort of allowance for this sort of information sharing.

Not sure if this helps....but I definitely would ask for a copy of your paperwork. O can totally see where this would piss you off, but I can also see where doctors need to know all the medications you are taking, or they end up needing a lawyer of their own....so I see both sides of this one (I'd still be pissed though :wink: )

Elizabeth

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:49 am 
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I don't know about your state but mine (and many others) have a new prescription monitoring program to help deter doctor shopping etc. The walgreens I go to has a notice posted on their window about it. Doctors and Pharmacies now have one database of information to share in my state and others.

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 8:45 am 
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JoeKing wrote:
I have to be quick but Today my pcp doctor who didn't know that I was on suboxone called the my pharmacy and asked about my prescriptions and without hesitation the pharmacy told him when and how much suboxone I was on. Is this legal? I thought this information was private. I very upset about this. what can i do? do I have a lawsuit? By the way for anyone wanting to keep there info private do not go to WALMART. they are the ones that did it.


I'm just curious, but why do you care if your PCP knows you're taking suboxone? I dunno, I mean, personally, when I decided to stop using drugs, I came clean with my PCP to protect myself.


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