Health Information Management

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

HIM-HIPAA Insider, November 11, 2013

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to HIM-HIPAA Insider!

Submit your HIPAA questions to Associate Editor Jaclyn Fitzgerald at 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.

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to HIM-HIPAA Insider!

    Briefings on APCs
  • Briefings on APCs

    Worried about the complexities of the new rules under OPPS and APCs? Briefings on APCs helps you understand the new rules...

  • HIM Briefings

    Guiding Health Information Management professionals through the continuously changing field of medical records and toward a...

  • Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies

    Submitting improper Medicare documentation can lead to denial of fees, payback, fines, and increased diligence from payers...

  • Briefings on HIPAA

    How can you minimize the impact of HIPAA? Subscribe to Briefings on HIPAA, your health information management resource for...

  • APCs Insider

    This HTML-based e-mail newsletter provides weekly tips and advice on the new ambulatory payment classifications regulations...

Most Popular