Protecting us from ourselves?
After the normal voicemail dance, pressing buttons and waiting for a Live Person... Good morning, Patient Insurance & Accounts.
Me: Good morning. I am calling to ask about a check I wrote to cover our insurance co-pay, for a medical appointment for our daughter, back in January. It has not cleared yet.
PIA: Okay... (pause for keyboard clicking) Oh, wait. Your daughter is over 18. I'm sorry, I'll need to talk to her about this.
Me: I understand about HIPAA regulations, but I do not need any medical information. This is about a check I wrote, and I simply want to find out why it has not cleared.
PIA: We cannot discuss patient accounts with anyone but the patient or her authorized party.
Me: If you check the record, you'll see that I am already listed as the responsible party on her account. I can give you any pertinent identification information you require.
PIA: I am sorry, but I need to talk to her directly.
Me: But her consent is part of the record.
PIA: I cannot check the record without her consent.
*pause for grinding teeth, banging head on wall.*
Later, daughter called back, and the PIA happily gave her the information we needed-- without at any time verifying her identity. Never asked her birthdate, no social security number, nothing.
I so should have lied.