Can hospital employees see my medical records?
Yes. The Amended Rule permits an unlimited number of hospital employees to have access to an unlimited amount of health information about you without your knowledge or consent as long as they can say they reviewed the information for purposes of treatment, payment or health care operations.
Example: A hospitalized depressed patient can rely on the fact that, under the Amended Rule, countless individuals employed by the hospital, the hospital’s “business associates” (including lawyers, accountants and consultants), employees of the physician practices from whom he received treatment, and employees of the pharmacies where he had prescriptions filled (and their business associates) will all have access to the health information concerning his/her attempted suicide and hospitalization for an indeterminate period into the future.
This individual would have to live in a very large city in order for his attempted suicide and hospitalization to not become common knowledge in the community.
Under the Amended Rule, he/she has the opportunity to feel “violated” each day for the rest of his/her life simply because he/she sought desperately needed health care.