Q&A: Scheduling doctor's appointment for grandchildren
Q: My daughter had to go out of town on business, and she asked me to make checkup appointments for her children. Our doctors are all at the same practice. While I was there for my own appointment, I attempted to schedule my grandchildren’s appointments, and the practice staff informed me that I am not permitted to make the appointments due to HIPAA. I only wanted to make the appointment and did not want to access any information. Is this really a HIPAA violation?
A: No, this does not violate the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The practice should have allowed you to schedule the appointments when you indicated you were doing so at your daughter’s request. Then, they should have contacted your daughter to confirm the dates/times of the appointments.
Editor’s note: Question answered by Mary Brandt, a healthcare consultant specializing in healthcare regulatory compliance and operations improvement. This information does not constitute legal advice. Consult legal counsel for answers to specific privacy and security questions. Opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent HCPro or ACDIS. Email your HIPAA questions to Associate Editor Heidi Samuelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.