Revenue Cycle

Can patient access staff give out ED information over the phone?

Patient Financial Services Weekly Advisor, June 14, 2007

Q: Can the hospital's front desk receptionist give information to a caller asking whether a family member is in the emergency department?

A: Before giving out any information regarding a patient, the receptionist must be sure the patient has not asked to be a "no information" patient. It may be best to transfer these calls to the emergency department, so someone familiar with the patient can determine his or her wishes and the caller's relationship to the patient.

Editor's note: Mary Brandt, president of Bellaire, TX-based Brandt & Associates, LLC, answered this question. This is not legal advice. Consult your attorney for legal matters.

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