Health Information Management

HIPAA Q&A: You've got questions. We've got answers!

HIM-HIPAA Insider, November 11, 2013

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Submit your HIPAA questions to Associate Editor Jaclyn Fitzgerald at jfitzgerald@hcpro.com and we will work with our experts to provide you with the information you need.

Q . I am concerned about leaving certain information on a patient's voice mail, because I believe any individual listening to the message could search the physician's name and identify the service. The following example seems vague enough to me, but I'm not positive it is appropriate: "This is Dr. John's office calling for Adam. We wanted to remind you of your appointment at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 28. Please call us at 123-456-7899 to confirm. Thank you." What information is appropriate to leave on a patient's voice mail?

A. The message you mentioned is appropriate. It provides enough information to remind the patient about the appointment without giving any details relating to the reason for the visit. For physician offices calling about lab results, one of the following messages would be acceptable:

  • "This is Dr. John's office calling. All of your recent lab tests came back normal."
  • "This is Dr. John's office. Please call us at 123-456-7899 for your lab results."
 

Editor’s note: Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, vice president of health information, Baylor Scott & White Health in Temple, Texas, answered this question for HCPro’s  Briefings on HIPAA newsletter.



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