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HIPPA and summer camp

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  • HIPPA and summer camp

    It seems to me that the medical reviews done at our summer camp are a flagrant violation of the new HIPPA regulations (Health Information Privacy and Portability Act). Does anyone know whether Boy Scouts are exempt from HIPPA rules? If not, what steps must be taken to come into compliance with regard to the medical review at summer camp?


  • #2
    If I voluntarily provide my own health information to the Camp Medical staff, that's not illegal. If I give the information about my Scouts to the camp staff, that may be illegal, unless I have a consent form from the parent. Then the Council must safeguard the information to insure it is not released to a third party for purposes which I did not authorize (like to non-medical camp staff). I think if the medical forms are locked in a file cabinet in the Health Lodge, with only the Medical staff having access, that would suffice. Perhaps a change to the Health and Medical forms to include consent to disclose would be in order.

    I'm not a lawyer...each Council needs to consult their Counsel for guidance. I work in a medical setting, and we were trained that anything that can identify an individual's health status is considered protected information, and there are stiff penalties for advertant or inadvertant disclosure without specific consent from the individual. The good news is that the hospital candy-striper can no longer look in the computer to see why her neighbor's REALLY in the hospital (been there).


    • #3
      If I'm not mistaken, HIPPA doesn't apply to summer camp medical forms. I think HIPPA only deals with hospital, medical centers & doctor's offices.

      Ed Mori
      Troop 1
      1 Peter 4:10


      • #4
        BSA does NOT fall under HIPAA regs. Thank goodness. I have to deal with enough HIPAA at work. I really didn't want it in my volunteer stuff too.

        Councils, Districts, and units still should be taking steps to keep the information confidential and protected. That's always been the case.

        What are your specific concerns?


        • #5

          You may be right about HIPPA not applying to Boy Scout Summer Camp, I don't know. But it involves much more than hospitals and doctor's offices. My understanding (and I am neither an attorney nor an HR pro), is that it applies to any medical information which any institution has about a person. It applies to your company and how it treats your medical files and insurance, it covers the insurance company itself, it covers pharmacies, and it covers emergency medical crews. Anyone who has reason to have knowledge of your medical condition is subject to this law. And, having seen the language, they were pretty serious about it when they wrote it.

          With no valid information to back me up, I'd suppose that sctldr is most likely accurate. If you fill out and sign a medical form, and in some way acknowledge that you understand that it will be used in case it is necessary, but otherwise protected from other uses, the Scout Camp probably meets the requirements of HIPPA. I think stressbaby's question is a good one though. Where we go to summer camp, each Scout is interviewed by a camp staff member with the Scoutmaster present. I am not sure that under HIPPA, either of these people are entitled to know this information. So as sctldr suggests, it may be necesary for an additional section to be filled out and signed in order for these people to be allowed to be given this info.



          • #6
            According to the US Governments Health and Human Services website the....


            In HIPAA, Congress required health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers who conduct certain financial and administrative transactions electronically (such as eligibility, referral authorizations and claims) to comply with each set of final standards. Other businesses may voluntarily comply with the standards, but the law does not require them to do so.

            So Scout camps are not required to abide by the HIPPA practices.

            Hope this helps,
            Bob White

            (This message has been edited by Bob White)


            • #7
              Quite often I'm able to refer to a document or memo that I have received from National by nature of my position to back up what I'm saying.

              Now I'm going to use the fact that I haven't received anything from National regarding HIPPA to back me up.

              I believe that if HIPPA (which I'd never heard of until I read this thread) applied to my council, that I would have received multiple memos explaining how to comply.

              I have received serveral memos, for example, over criminal background checks and related areas such as what to do with an individual who refuses to give SSN (reject them) and what to do about an individual who has no SSN (that one's so rare, I forgot the answer, but I can find it.)

              Nothing, however, on HIPPA.

              I think we're in the clear. I do want to point out, however, that in my experience, the health forms are returned to the camper at the end of the session. Only the camp medical log is kept on file for at least seven years.



              • #8

                You're ABSOLUTELY correct. If HIPAA applied to BSA you would have been inundated with frantic memoes, major forms changes, etc., etc.

                I still stand by my original post that we need to honor confidentiality and do our best to protect the privacy of our scouts and leaders. The medical forms still should be treated with care and not be left available for anybody and everyone to look at.