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Prevention from communicating with doctors?
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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?
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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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