Thursday, May 13, 2010

HIPAA Doesn't Apply to Veterans?

"...Veterans groups are blasting Georgia lawmakers for passing legislation that would allow a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder to appear on driver's licenses.

The legislation, which awaits Gov. Sonny Purdue's signature, would permit service members and veterans to request a PTSD denotation, which would appear on their driver's licenses as a specific health problem, much like poor eyesight.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur after a traumatic event, including sexual assault, physical assault and military combat. Symptoms include vivid flashbacks to the traumatic event, depression and substance abuse, among others. Up to 20 percent of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from PTSD, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The bill would require a sworn statement from a physician verifying a diagnosis of PTSD and a waiver of liability for the release of the driver's medical information.

State Sen. Ron Ramsey, who co-sponsored the bill, says he sees no downside to the measure. In a statement to FoxNews.com, Ramsey, a Democrat, said the "completely voluntary" legislation may protect law enforcement officers and veterans from potentially dangerous situations..." (source)

Because of HIPAA, nurses can have a patient with HIV/AIDS that hasn't told his wife and they can't say a word--to THE WIFE whose life is in danger...so I don't understand how this bill could even get this far. How can medical/psychological diagnoses be put on a driver's license that must be shown to more than just police officers?!

(H/T: Maj SM)

No comments: