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    Prevention from communicating with doctors?
    avatar
    gb321 posted:
    My mother is bipolar, currently experiencing a strong depressive episode, and has been checked into a mental health hospital. She is receiving treatment and medication, but I have found it very difficult to stay informed on her progress. When we call the doctor treating her, the line goes to voicemail and we do not get a return call (once we received a return call from my mom herself, but not from the doctor or his secretary). I spoke with the nurses but they said they could not tell me anything because I was not on the list of people authorized to receive information. This was the first myself or anyone else had even heard of a list, the doctors never mentioned it. After discovering the list, my mom put my name on it, which means I was now authorized to receive information. But when I next contacted the nurse, all she told me was that my mom took her meds and was in group. She then curtly hung up. Finally, the hospital itself is like a fortress and during visitor hours we are only able to interact with the patients and security.

    This all seems strange to me. I am used to doctors/hospitals wanting to keep family informed; I am used to that being part of the recovery process. Is it different with bipolar disorder/mental health? Almost all we know about my mom's treatment is what she has told us during our visits. Is this how it is supposed to be?
    Reply
     
    avatar
    davedsel responded:
    This is due to the current HIPPA laws that protect the patients health privacy.

    Here is a link to a site that explains this: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/index.html

    You should have your mom sign a form that allows the medical staff to share her detailed health information with you.
    ...


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