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What happen to the HIPPA law?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Jerbear, Oct 11, 2007.

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  1. Jerbear

    Jerbear TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
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    Guns Don't Kill Kids, Irresponsible Adults With Guns Do


    Wednesday, October 10, 2007


    By John Lott, Jr.


    Should your doctor ask your child if you own a gun?


    Guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatric say "yes."


    They warn that "Children are curious even if they've had some sort of
    firearm training. That's why parents taking responsibility for safe gun
    storage is so essential."


    Doctors across the United States are being advised to interrogate
    children about mom and dad's "bad" behavior.


    It sounds simple enough, but the problem is that the advice ignores the
    benefits and exaggerates the costs of gun ownership.


    Take a recent example from Massachusetts that was discussed in the
    Boston Herald:


    "Debbie is a mom from Uxbridge who was in the examination room when the
    pediatrician asked her 5-year-old, 'Does Daddy own a gun?'


    "When the little girl said yes, the doctor began grilling her and her
    mom about the number and type of guns, how they are stored, etc.


    "If the incident had ended there, it would have merely been annoying.


    "But when a friend in law enforcement let Debbie know that her doctor
    had filed a report with the police about her family's (entirely legal)
    gun ownership, she got mad."



    Perhaps it was only a matter of time. Accidental gun deaths involving
    children get national coverage. News programs stage experiments with 5
    and 6-year-olds in a room filled with toys and a gun. Shocking pictures
    show the children picking up the gun and playing with it like a toy. For
    years, the Clinton administration would show public service ads with the
    voices or pictures of young children between the ages of 3 and 7
    implying an epidemic of accidental gun deaths involving children.


    With all this attention, the fear is understandable, but it is still
    irresponsible. Convincing patients not to own guns or to at least lock
    them up will cost more lives than it will save. It also gives a
    misleading impression of what poses the greatest dangers to children.


    Accidental gun deaths among children are fortunately much rarer than
    most people believe. Consider the following numbers.


    In 2003, for the United States, the Centers for Disease Control reports
    that 28 children under age 10 died from accidental shots. With some 90
    million gun owners and about 40 million children under 10, it is hard to
    find any item as commonly owned in American homes, as potentially as
    lethal, that has as low of an accidental death rate.


    These deaths also have little to do with "naturally curious" children
    shooting other children. From 1995 to 2001 only about nine of these
    accidental gun deaths each year involve a child under 10 shooting
    another child or themselves. Overwhelmingly, the shooters are adult
    males with long histories of alcoholism, arrests for violent crimes,
    automobile crashes, and suspended or revoked driver's licenses.


    Even if gun locks can stop the few children who abuse a gun from doing
    so, gun locks cannot stop adults from firing their own gun. It makes a
    lot more sense for doctors to ask if "daddy" has a violent criminal
    record or a history of substance abuse, rather than ask if they own a gun.


    Fear about guns also seems greatest among those who know the least about
    them.


    For example, those unfamiliar with guns don't realize that most young
    children simply couldn't fire your typical semi-automatic pistol. Even
    the few who posses the strength to pull back the slide on the gun are
    unlikely to know that they must do that to put the bullet in the chamber
    or that they need to switch off the safety.


    With so many greater dangers facing children everyday from common
    household items, it is not obvious why guns have been singled out. Here
    are some of the other ways that children under 10 died in 2004.


    Over 1,400 children were killed by cars, almost 260 of those deaths were
    young pedestrians. Bicycle and space heater accidents take many times
    more children's lives than guns. Over 90 drowned in bathtubs. The most
    recent yearly data available indicates that over 30 children under age 5
    drowned in five-gallon plastic water buckets.


    Yet, the real problem with this gun phobia is that without guns, victims
    are much more vulnerable to criminal attack. Guns are used defensively
    some 2 million times each year. Even though the police are extremely
    important in reducing crime, they simply can't be there all the time and
    virtually always arrive after the crime has been committed. Having a gun
    is by far the safest course of action when one is confronted by a criminal.


    The cases where young children use guns to save their family's lives
    rarely makes the news. Recent examples where children's lives were
    clearly lost because guns were locked and inaccessible are ignored.


    Recent research that I did examining juvenile accidental gun deaths for
    all U.S. states from 1977 to 1998, found that sixteen states mandating
    that guns be locked up had no impact. What did happen, however, was that
    criminals were emboldened to attack people in their homes and crimes
    were more successful; 300 more murders and 4,000 more rapes occurred
    each year in these states. Burglaries also rose dramatically. The
    evidence also indicates that states with the biggest increases in gun
    ownership have had the biggest drops in violent crime.


    Asking patients about guns not only strains doctor patient
    relationships, it exaggerates the dangers and risks lives. Yet, in the
    end, possibly some good can come out of all this gun phobia. If your
    doctors ask you whether you own a gun, rather than sarcastically asking
    them if they own a space heater, why not offer to go out to a shooting
    range together and teach them about guns?


    John Lott, Jr., is the author of Freedomnomics and a Senior Research
    Scholar at the University of Maryland.


    Jerbear... go figure! and I thought my records with my doctor was private.
    --
     
  2. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,003
    I'd sue the doctor.
     
  3. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,358
    Location:
    Nashville Tn
    My kids are grown and I got "fixed". Problem solved.

    I fear for the next generation.
     
  4. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,399
    Location:
    S-E PA
    Sorry for the length of this, but...
    This is from several years ago, when this first surfaced, Joe Horn wrote all that follows and deserves credit for same.



    Risk Management Advice to Physicians and their Insurers:
    Don't Borrow Trouble

    By Joe Horn

    Since retiring and leaving Law Enforcement, I have been active in Risk Management consulting, a field that has grown rapidly throughout every industry over the past 20 years. Some of the companies I have consulted to for risk management include IBM, Gates Lear jet, National Semiconductor, and Pinkerton International Protection Services.

    One of the best games in town is litigation, and litigating against physicians is even more popular than suing gun manufacturers. Physicians and their malpractice insurance carriers are well aware that litigators are constantly looking for new opportunities to sue. Let's talk about one of those new areas of exposure.

    Nowadays, many physicians and other health care providers are engaging in the very risky, well intentioned, but naive and politically inspired business of asking their patients about ownership, maintenance and storage of firearms in the home. Some could argue that this is a "boundary violation," and it probably is, but there is another very valid reason why these professionals should NOT engage in this practice -- MASSIVE LIABILITY.

    Physicians are licensed and certified in the practice of medicine, the treatment of illnesses and injuries, and in preventative activities. They may advise or answer questions about those issues. However, when physicians give advice about firearms safety in the home, without certification in that field, and without physically INSPECTING that particular home and those particular firearms, they are functioning outside the practice of medicine. Furthermore, if they fail to review the gamut of safety issues in the home, such as those relating to electricity, drains, disposals, compactors, garage doors, driveway safety, pool safety, pool fence codes and special locks for pool gates, auto safety, gas, broken glass, stored cleaning chemicals, buckets, toilets, sharp objects, garden tools, home tools, power tools, lawnmowers, lawn chemicals, scissors, needles, forks, knives, and on and on, well, you get the drift. A litigator could easily accuse that physician of being NEGLIGENT for not covering whichever one of those things that ultimately led to the death or injury of a child or any one in the family or even a visitor to the patient's home.

    To engage in Home Safety Counseling without certification, license or formal training in Risk Management and to concentrate on one small politically correct area, i.e., firearms to the neglect of ALL of the other safety issues in the modern home, is to invite a lawsuit because the safety counselor Knew, Could have known or SHOULD have known that there were other dangers to the occupants of that house more immediate than firearms. Things like swimming pools, buckets of water, and chemicals in homes are involved in the death or injury of many more children than accidental firearms discharge [ Source: CDC.] Firearms are a statistically small, nearly negligible fraction of the items involved in home injuries. Physicians SHOULD know that. So, why all of a sudden do some physicians consider themselves to be firearms safety experts? Where is their concern for all the other safety issues that they DON'T cover with their patients?

    Once physicians start down this path of home safety counseling, they are completely on their own. A review of their medical malpractice insurance will reveal that if they engage in an activity for which they are not certified, the carrier will not cover them if (or when) they get sued.

    Consider a physician asking the following questions of his or her malpractice insurance carrier:

    1.

    One of my patients is suing me for NOT warning them that furniture polish was poisonous and their child drank it and died. I only warned them about firearms, drugs and alcohol. Am I covered for counseling patients about firearms safety while not mentioning and giving preventative advice about all the other dangers in the home, and doing so without formal training or certification in any aspect of home safety risk management? You know their answer.
    2.

    How much training and certification do I need to become a Home Safety Expert Doctor? They will tell you that you are either a pediatrician or you are the National Safety Council. But, you don't have certification to do the National Safety Council's job for them.


    Homeowners and parents are civilly or criminally responsible for the safety or lack thereof in their homes. My advice to physicians is to not borrow trouble by presuming to be able to dispense safety advice outside your area of expertise: the practice of medicine. Your insurance carrier will love you if you simply treat injuries and illnesses, dispense advice on how to care for sick or injured persons, manage sanitation problems and try to prevent disease, but stay out of the Risk Management business unless you are trained and certified to do it.

    (c) 2000

    Joe Horn
    6th Mesa Risk Management,
    Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Retired
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Joe Horn is a member of Second Amendment Police Department, who is now collaborating and strategizing from time to time with Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws.



    Physicians, Don't borrow trouble, Part II

    by Joe Horn



    Last time (Part I) we discussed:

    *

    the Risk Management issues involved in counseling patients about firearms home safety, and
    *

    the liability issues involved with lack of certification and training of Physicians in Home Safety or Firearms Safety.

    Now we'll discuss:

    * the very serious issues involving the lawful possession and use of firearms in the home, and
    * the danger and liabilities associated with advising patients to severely encumber the firearm(s) with locked storage, or advising the patient to remove them entirely.


    Patient X is told by Doctor Y to remove or lock up a firearm so it is not accessible. Patient X, does as counseled and has no firearm available at closehand. Subsequently, patient is then the victim of a home invasion and calls 911, but the police are buried in calls and don't arrive for 20 minutes during which time Patient X is raped, robbed and murdered. Anyone can see the liability issue here, particularly Risk Management specialists and liability insurance carriers.

    It's just a matter of when and not if this will happen, God forbid, but it will - if a home invasion takes place and Patient X takes Doctor Y's advice.

    Now, imagine what follows this horrendous event. Who is to blame? The perpetrator is long gone, and even so, the Plaintiff's litigator will state that the perpetrator could have been neutralized by the appropriate defensive use of a firearm, which was no longer available to the deceased/injured because he/she followed a Physician's advice to render him/herself defenseless against violent crime.

    The Litigator will further argue that the Physician Knew, Could have known, Should have known that removing a firearm from use for home defense would result in harm to the patient if and when a crime was committed against the patient in the home.

    Physicians are already under incredible pressure from Liability and Malpractice carriers to limit their exposure, and Malpractice rates are staggeringly high. So, why borrow trouble?

    If one acknowledges the already dangerous general liability of home safety counseling and then adds the very risky practice of advising patients to disarm themselves in the face of the reality of violent crime daily perpetrated against home owners and apartment tenants, it is apparent that the Physician is placing him/herself in a very risky position for suit.

    It is my strong recommendation to Malpractice Carriers and those Physicians they insure to strictly avoid this high risk practice and reserve counseling for the area of expertise in which they are certified: Medicine. In my professional opinion, this is an emotionally charged political issue that Physicians and their Carriers should not be manipulated for whatever well-intentioned reason into taking the risk, which is considerable...

    Physicians in doubt of the veracity of what I've said are encouraged to call their carriers and ask them what they currently cover, and to ask if this new counseling policy is covered under the existing policy. We already know what they will say: Don't borrow trouble.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Joe Horn, Sixth Mesa Risk Management, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Retired. (c) 2000 Permission is granted to reproduce this article if left intact and complete. crowtalk@theriver.com



    Form for MD's

    FIREARMS SAFETY COUNSELING REPRESENTATION:
    PHYSICIAN QUALIFICATIONS AND LIABILITY

    Part One: Qualifications

    I affirm that I am certified to offer (Name of Patient: ), [hereinafter referred to as "the Patient"], qualified advice about firearms safety in the home, having received:

    Specify Course(s) of Study: ___________________________________________________________________

    From: Specify Institution(s) __________________________________________________________________

    Specify Course Completion Date(s): _____________________________________________________________

    Resulting in: Specify Accreditation(s), Certification(s), License(s) etc.:__________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    Check one, as appropriate:
    ___ I represent that I have reviewed applicable scientific literature pertaining to defensive gun use and beneficial results of private firearms ownership. I further represent that I have reviewed all other relevant home safety issues with the Patient, including those relating to electricity, drains, disposals, compactors, garage doors, driveway safety, pool safety, pool fence codes and special locks for pool gates, auto safety, gas, broken glass, stored cleaning chemicals, buckets, toilets, sharp objects, garden tools, home tools, power tools, lawnmowers, lawn chemicals, scissors, needles, forks, knives, etc. I also acknowledge, by receiving this document, I have been made aware that, in his inaugural address before the American Medical Association on June 20, 2001, new president Richard Corlin, MD, admitted "What we don't know about violence and guns is literally killing us...researchers do not have the data to tell how kids get guns, if trigger locks work, what the warning signs of violence in schools and at the workplace are and other critical questions due to lack of research funding." (UPI). In spite of this admission, I represent that I have sufficient data and expertise to provide expert and clinically sound advice to patients regarding firearms in the home.
    OR
    ___ I am knowingly engaging in Home/Firearms Safety Counseling without certification, license or formal training in Risk Management, and; I have not reviewed applicable scientific literature pertaining to defensive gun use and beneficial results of private firearms ownership.

    Part Two: Liability

    I have determined, from a review of my medical malpractice insurance, that if I engage in an activity for which I am not certified, such as Firearms Safety Counseling, the carrier (check one, as appropriate):
    ___ will ___ will not cover lawsuits resulting from neglect, lack of qualification, etc.

    Insurance Carrier name, address and policy number insuring me for firearms safety expertise:

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    I further warrant that, should the Patient follow my firearm safety counseling and remove from the home and/or disable firearms with trigger locks or other mechanisms, and if the patient or a family member, friend or visitor is subsequently injured or killed as a result of said removal or disabling, that my malpractice insurance and/or personal assets will cover all actual and punitive damages resulting from a lawsuit initiated by the patient, the patient's legal representative, or the patient's survivors.

    Signature of attesting physician and date: ___________________________________________________

    Name of attesting physician (please print): __________________________________________________

    Signature of patient and date: ____________________________________________________________

    Name of patient (please print): ____________________________________________________________

    Note to patient: Indicate if physician "REFUSED TO SIGN." Ask physician to place copy in chart/medical record.


    Risk Management Advice to Physicians and Malpractice Insurance Providers: Don't Borrow Trouble
    © 2000 by Joe Horn crowtalk@theriver.com
    One of the best games in town is litigation, and litigating against physicians is even more popular than suing gun manufacturers. Physicians and their malpractice insurance carriers are well aware that litigators are constantly looking for new opportunities to sue. Let's talk about one of those new areas of liability exposure.
    Nowadays, many physicians and other health care providers are engaging in the very risky, well intentioned, albeit naive and politically inspired business of asking their patients about ownership, maintenance and storage of firearms in the home, and even removal of those firearms from the home. Some could argue that this is a "boundary violation," and it probably is, but there is another very valid reason why these professionals should NOT engage in this practice -- MASSIVE LIABILITY.
    Physicians are licensed and certified in the practice of medicine, the treatment of illnesses and injuries, and in preventative activities. They may advise or answer questions about those issues. However, when physicians give advice about firearms safety in the home, without certification in that field, and without physically INSPECTING that particular home and those particular firearms, they are functioning outside the practice of medicine.
    Furthermore, if they fail to review the gamut of safety issues in the home, such as those relating to electricity, drains, disposals, compactors, garage doors, driveway safety, pool safety, pool fence codes and special locks for pool gates, auto safety, gas, broken glass, stored cleaning chemicals, buckets, toilets, sharp objects, garden tools, home tools, power tools, lawnmowers, lawn chemicals, scissors, needles, forks, knives, and on and on, well, you get the drift. A litigator could easily accuse that physician of being NEGLIGENT for not covering whichever one of those things that ultimately led to the death or injury of a child or any one in the family or even a visitor to the patient's home.
    To engage in Home Safety Counseling without certification, license or formal training in home safety and Risk Management and to concentrate on one small politically correct area, i.e., firearms to the neglect of ALL of the other safety issues in the modern home, is to invite a lawsuit because the safety counselor, (Physician) Knew, Could have known or Should have known that there were other dangers to the occupants of that house more immediate than firearms. Things like swimming pools, buckets of water, and chemicals in homes are involved in the death or injury of many more children than accidental firearms discharge [Source: CDC.] Firearms are a statistically small, nearly negligible fraction of the items involved in home injuries. Physicians SHOULD know that. So, why all of a sudden do some physicians consider themselves to be firearms and home safety experts? Where is their concern for all the other home safety issues that they DON'T cover with their patients?
    Once physicians start down this path of home safety counseling, they are completely on their own. A review of their medical malpractice insurance will reveal that if they engage in an activity for which they are not certified, the carrier will not cover them if (or when) they are sued.
    Consider a physician asking the following questions of his or her malpractice insurance carrier:
    • One of my patients is suing me for NOT warning them that furniture polish was poisonous and their child drank it and died. I only warned them about firearms, drugs and alcohol. Am I covered for counseling patients about firearms safety while not mentioning and giving preventative advice about all the other dangers in the home, and doing so without formal training or certification in any aspect of home safety risk management? You know their answer.
    • How much training and certification do I need to become a Home Safety Expert Doctor? They will tell you that you are either a pediatrician or you are the National Safety Council. But, you don't have certification to do the National Safety Council's job for them.
    Homeowners and parents are civilly or criminally responsible for the safety or lack thereof in their homes. My advice to physicians is to not borrow trouble by presuming to be able to dispense safety advice outside your area of expertise: the practice of medicine. Your insurance carrier will love you if you simply treat injuries and illnesses, dispense advice on how to care for sick or injured persons, manage sanitation problems and try to prevent disease, but stay out of the Risk Management business unless you are trained and certified to do it. For example, E.R. doctors do not tell accident victims how to drive safely.
    Now, let's discuss the very serious issues involving the lawful possession and use of firearms for self and home defense, and the danger and liabilities associated with advising patients to severely encumber the firearm(s) with locked storage, or advising the patient to remove them entirely. Patient X is told by Doctor Y to remove or lock up a firearm so it is not accessible. Patient X, does as counseled and has no firearm available at close at hand. Subsequently, patient is then the victim of a home invasion and calls 911, but the police are buried in calls and don't arrive for 20 minutes during which time Patient X is raped, robbed and murdered. Anyone can see the liability issue here, particularly Risk Management specialists and liability insurance carriers.
    It's just a matter of *when* and not *if* this will happen. Sooner or later, it will - if a home invasion takes place and Patient X takes Doctor Y's advice.
    Now, imagine what follows this horrendous event. Who is to blame? The perpetrator is long gone, and even so, the Plaintiff's litigator will state that the perpetrator could have been neutralized by the appropriate lawful defensive use of a firearm, which *had* been in the home, but was no longer available to the deceased/injured because he/she followed a Physician's *expert* advice to render him/herself and his/her home defenseless against violent crime.
    The Litigator will further argue that the Physician Knew, Could have known, Should have known that removing a firearm from use for home defense would result in harm to the patient if and when a crime was committed against the patient in the home, as any reasonable person would have surmised.
    If one acknowledges the already dangerous general liability of home safety counseling and then adds the very risky practice of advising patients to disarm themselves in the face of the reality of violent crime daily perpetrated against home owners, condo and apartment tenants, it is apparent that the Physician is placing him/herself in a very risky position for suit.
    It is my strong recommendation to Malpractice Carriers and those Physicians they insure to strictly avoid this high risk practice and reserve counseling for the area of expertise in which they are certified: Medicine. In my professional opinion, this is an emotionally charged political issue that Physicians and their Carriers should not be manipulated for whatever well-intentioned reason into taking the risk, which is considerable...
    Physicians in doubt of the veracity of what I've said are encouraged to call their carriers and ask them what they currently cover, and to ask if this new counseling policy is covered under the existing policy. We already know what they will say: Don't borrow trouble.
    Since retiring from the LA County Sheriff's Department, Mr. Horn has provided Risk Management and related issue Human Resource consulting. Among other firms, he has consulted to IBM, Gates Learjet, National Semiconductor, and Pinkerton International Protection Services.
     
  5. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,796
    I don't know what happened to it....I don't read long threads!
     
  6. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,297
    Ask the Doctor if he/she knows what a Boundary Violation is and what penalties he/she may expose themselves to if they commit one.

    From the above listed web site:

    American families may soon find themselves in this scenario. Social activists are taking their war on gun ownership to a new battleground: the doctor's office.(1) The American Medical Association (AMA)(2), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)(3), and American College of Physicians (ACP)(4) are urging doctors to probe their patients about guns in their homes. They profess concern for patient safety. But their ulterior motive is a political prejudice against guns and gun owners. And that places their interventions into the area of unethical physician conduct called boundary violations.

    ... and ...

    Patients do have remedies for the boundary-crossing doctor. In today's competitive health care market most patients can choose from many doctors. Changing doctors is the simplest solution. A written complaint to the health plan's membership services department can send a powerful message that boundary violations by doctors will not be tolerated. If the problem persists, patients can file a complaint with the doctor's state licensing board. Medical licensing boards are increasingly aware of the problem of boundary violations. Although state boards have addressed primarily sexual and financial misconduct, the broad principles they have developed to guide doctors in these areas apply to the entire doctor-patient relationship.(18,19)
     
  7. code5coupe

    code5coupe Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    955
    Who always takes the advice of doctors anyway??

    I sure don't..........not always, at least.
     
  8. Doubles Shooter

    Doubles Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Upstate Western New York
    Doctors seem to be concerned about kids getting killed by guns. I wonder how many kids die each year be their doctor by miss- diagnosis, medication errors, etc.
     
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