Forgot Her HIPAA-Cratic Oath

, , , , , | Right | April 21, 2021

I’m a provider phone representative for an insurance company. I take calls from providers’ offices verifying benefits and claim status for their patients. Usually, you’re talking to the people at the front desk, almost never the doctors, but today I get a call from an actual doctor. After I verify her tax ID:

Doctor: “I’d like to check benefits for a patient, [Patient].”

Me: “Sure! Could I have his member ID, please?”

Doctor: “It’s [ID].”

The patient doesn’t come up. I ask her to spell his name, and I try looking him up that way. No matter what I do, I can’t find him. This doctor is losing her mind.

Me: “Are you sure he’s with [Our Company]?”

Doctor: “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! YES, HE IS! HOW CAN YOU NOT BE ABLE TO FIND HIM?!”

Me: “Doctor [Last Name], I’ve tried everything, and he’s just not found. I don’t know what else to tell you other than speak to him.”

The doctor rants and raves for another minute, and then, abruptly:

Doctor: “Wait, is this [Other Health Insurance Company]?”

Me: “No, this is [Our Company].”

Doctor: “Oh. I called the wrong insurance.” *Click*

No apology for her mistake or her behavior. Bearing her tantrum and wonderful listening skills in mind — I had TOLD her what insurance company she had called — it was more than a little ironic that she was a psychologist. Doctor, heal thyself.

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