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HIPAA  November 2002

HIPAA November 2002

Subject:

Fwd: Yet another slant on HIPAA

From:

Mary Dewey <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Hipaa Project <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 14 Nov 2002 13:01:44 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (188 lines)

Of interest...


>Date:         Tue, 1 Oct 2002 14:22:48 -0500
>From: "Laster, Jill" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Yet another slant on HIPAA
>To: [log in to unmask]
>
>                        CONFIDENTIAL URMIA MESSAGE
>                                  ......
>
>
>
>Thought this was an interesting story on HIPAA from the Dallas Morning
>News Sports Section.
>
>Jill
>
>Jill Laster, ARM
>Associate Vice Chancellor For Administrative Services
>Texas Christian University
>TCU Box 297120
>Fort Worth, TX  76129
>817.257.6798 Voice
>817.257.7744 FAX
>
>
>
>
>Who can tell if a player is hurt?
>Some schools begin observing privacy law that takes effect in April
>
>09/25/2002
>
>By BRIAN DAVIS / The Dallas Morning News
>
>
>Many University of Texas football fans would like to know just how bad Roy
>Williams' right hamstring injury is. Texas coach Mack Brown says he would
>like to tell you.
>
>But he can't. School administrators have told Brown that talking about
>injuries, serious or not, would be a violation of a new federal law. It is
>a law that could impact how much information coaches know about their own
>players, not to mention what they tell the media and fans.
>
>The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, passed by
>Congress in 1996, is scheduled to take effect in April 2003. Institutions
>that are not compliant could lose federal funding.
>
>However some schools across the country have already adopted the law's
>guidelines while others are not sure what to make of it. A few haven't
>given it a passing thought.
>
>Texas and Texas A&M are the state's frontrunners when it comes to
>following the act and its related predecessor, the decades-old Family
>Educational Rights and Privacy Act or what's commonly known as the Buckley
>Amendment.
>
>To follow both laws, both schools present waiver forms to their athletes
>that almost everybody signed, UT and A&M officials said. The signed
>waivers are needed to allow school officials to discuss injury information
>with the media and even with an athlete's parents. Otherwise, the laws
>forced schools to keep that information private for students over 18.
>
>"Now the problem from our perspective is that we've come up with a whole
>new set of releases to comply with," said Karl Kapchinski, A&M's assistant
>athletic director for athletic training.
>
>"It's a pain to coach [R.C.] Slocum, too. He's an easy-going guy. This
>cramps his style."
>
>Changes possible
>
>Legislators, unaware that college sports would even be affected, are
>considering rewording some aspects of the law initially sponsored by Sen.
>Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan., and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.
>
>HIPAA, signed by President Clinton, was originally designed as a law that
>kept workers' health histories private when they changed jobs, thus
>allowing workers to keep their health insurance packages. It also afforded
>some tax breaks to make insurance cheaper.
>
>"It may be an unintended consequence of the law," said Jim Manley, a
>spokesman for Sen. Kennedy. "It's something we're going to have to look
>into. It recently came to our attention."
>
>UT changed its release forms last year to comply with HIPAA, said Patricia
>Ohlendorf, UT vice president for institutional relations and legal
>affairs. Texas, though, still has an in-house rule that prevents coaches
>from speaking publicly about an athlete's injuries.
>
>A player can talk about his injuries all he wants, Ohlendorf said. But
>coaches cannot.
>
>Brown said university administrators approached him last week after
>mentioning that cornerback Nathan Vasher "tweaked" his ankle against North
>Carolina. "They said, 'Keep your mouth shut,' " Brown said Monday. "I like
>you guys [the media]. I don't like you enough to get fired."
>
>Texas' media relations department does not make injured players available
>to the media. The player is considered off limits until returning from the
>injury.
>
>UT doesn't even like other players commenting about another player's
>injury. When reporters crowded around receiver Sloan Thomas and asked if
>he ever had pulled a hamstring, a UT Sports Information Department
>official stepped in and steered the questioning back to X's and O's.
>
>Texas is currently listing Williams as questionable for Saturday's game
>against Tulane.
>
>No official injury reports will come from UT again until Thursday when the
>school releases a bi-weekly e-mail that looks like a NFL injury report. A
>player's name is listed along with a body part affected and four
>categories - out, doubtful, questionable or probable.
>
>First-hand is OK
>
>A&M and Baylor take a similar approach. Slocum has curtailed injury talk
>because he doesn't have time to figure out who signed a release and who
>hasn't, Kapchinski said. Injured Aggies, though, can still talk to any
>interested members of the media.
>
>Or, a player can issue his own press release like Colorado's Craig Ochs
>did. The injured quarterback issued a statement that he was withdrawing
>from school after suffering a "closed-head injury" against San Diego State.
>
>UT distributed a similar release Monday announcing that forward Chris
>Wright injured his left knee and will miss the 2002-03 men's basketball
>season. "I'm obviously frustrated, but I'm trying to be as positive as I
>can right now," Wright said in the release.
>
>Other schools around the state are not as stringent following HIPAA, at
>least not yet.
>
>Texas Tech general counsel Victor Mellinger said he has not had formal
>discussions with athletic department officials about the new law. Injury
>news on any Red Raider comes via Chris Cook, Tech's media relations
>director, or from trainer Steve Pincock.
>
>Tech coach Mike Leach does not talk about injuries simply because he
>chooses not to know. If a player isn't on the field, Leach figures, he
>can't help the team win. So why talk about him?
>
>"You guys [the media] ask me, and then I ask the trainer if a guy is going
>to be ready," Leach said.
>
>"He'll say, 'I don't know.' Well, when will you know? Can he do this or
>bend that way? Why don't you know? When will you know?"
>
>Information gets out
>
>TCU coach Gary Patterson said he was not supposed to talk about injuries
>during training camp. But as the season wore on, he sporadically gave more
>information. SMU and North Texas freely discuss injuries.
>
>Fans are not the only ones who want to know about favorite players. Slocum
>and other college coaches are worried that gamblers will begin snooping
>around for information that's critical to each week's betting line.
>
>Kapchinski said: "Guys are going to try to hit up one of my student
>trainers for information. They'll send runners to find a roommate or
>something. Information can be found out."
>
>UT, however, doesn't seem as worried. "[Gambling is] something that we
>don't have in our terminology," Ohlendorf said. "We don't assess what
>we're going to do based on what gamblers are going to do."
>
>Staff Writer David Jackson in Washington contributed to this report.
>
>
>
>         ________________________________________________________
>         Remember, messages on this listserv are to be treated as
>                               CONFIDENTIAL
>            but there are no guarantees when it comes to Email!

Mary C. Dewey, CPCU, ARM, CIC
Director of Risk Management
University of Vermont
109 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT  05405
Phone: 802-656-3242
Fax: 802-656-8682
e-mail: [log in to unmask]
http://esf.uvm.edu/

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