Health care consumers should be shown respect

It’s about time that a medical professional has addressed an issue that is the bane of health care consumers.

The Aug. 16 letter writer is absolutely correct when he states there is no prohibition under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) that precludes any type of medical or medically oriented office staff from calling customers by their title and surname. HIPAA defines the practice as “incidental disclosure.” It was first addressed in 2002.

The letter writer is also right on the money when he states, “our patients choose us as their health care providers…” Health providers don’t choose us. We seek out their services. We pay them. I don’t know of any health provider who has paid me for being their customer. By virtue of that fact alone, I am entitled to respect and courtesy from not only the provider, but also their office staff.

I, too, have written pieces speaking to this exact issue as recently as April 21. My salient comment in that piece was to state that the very people who demand respect are the ones who disregard it the most when providing service to their paying customers.

May I also state that before anyone dismisses the letter writer “as only an optometrist,” they should be aware that “all covered entities,” which includes hospitals, medical practices, ambulatory surgery centers, immediate care centers, clinical laboratories, pharmacies, etc., are obligated under HIPAA.

Health care customers should not accept anything less than professionalism, respect and courtesy from their providers.

Kay V. Adamczak, D.B.A.