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I'm concerned about my mom's mental health - forgetfulness, fears, etc. If I talk her doctor about these things, will he tell her I talked to him? It's not exactly the same as doctor/patient confidentiality.

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Most docs and nurses will not keep the conversation to them -selves-a good doc will pick up things themselves my Mom's doc said it was good she was driving at 92 ahd she thinks he walks on water and is probably almost as old as she is at this point-and she loves him.
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When my sister-in-law and I started being the only ones to take my mother-in-law to her doctor, I thought it would be better to take him aside and clue him in on exactly what's been going on. But now that it's just me, I decided to let it all hang out and just talk in front of her about her. I tell her, 'ok I'm gonna talk about you to your doctor now'. She'd just laugh and say 'go for it'. Much easier and I don't have to remember what I told him that I hadn't told her etc.
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I tried to talk to my mother's doc alone, but was told that I had to make an appointment and my insurance/I had to cover the expense. watch out for those charges. as for what he can and cannot discuss -- if your mother has put your name on her account with the doc as one he can discuss her issues with, then call his nurse and discuss it with her first. she can pass on any concerns without incurring a bill. I don't believe they are required to let your mother know that you've discussed things with them. At least, no one has ever told my mother that I've had this or that conversation with the nurse or doc.
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I understand the HIPPA laws and do not want any information from the Dr. at all. The situation is this. I am concerned for mental well being bc he is becoming extremely paranoid and is now spending thousands of dollars on surveillance and spy equipment and carrying a loaded weapon. I want the doctor to do a test for a mental health assessment or early onset dementia. If the Dr tells him I called and I'm the only family he has close to him in the state...he will alienate me and then there will be NO ONE to help him and watch him and check on him. So IS THE DOCTOR OBLIGATED TO SAY, HEY, YOUR DAUGHTER CALLED US AND SAID....... That is my question.
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There is nothing wrong with giving the doctor pertinent and helpful information about a loved one, it's the getting it back. The problem lies in the fact that if you do not have a POA, guardianship, or other legal forms, the patient, aka your loved one, has the right to privacy and by law the doctor or other caregiver can be fined for giving you that information. There is a 4 inch book of HIPPA information full of who, what, when and why information can be given. Certain aspects of the HIPPA law are completely ridiculous but they are in place. What actually started the process several years ago was a bunch of firefighters sitting around a table at lunch talking about a call they had been on and some of the comments they stated were overheard by members of the treated patient's family. As a medic, after I finished a call and was back in headquarters, I could talk about the call to my partner or any other person directly involved in patient care......but NO ONE ELSE unless it was information that would not under any circumstances identify who the person was....I was not allowed to leave paperwork where someone else could have access to the information. Another example.....let's say I was working a motor vehicle accident and the police were on the scene, I was not allowed to give them any follow-up information such as destination hospital, outcome, etc unless that police officer was directly involved in patient care. My way around it? I would ask them to hold the iv bag for a minute..........gave them direct contact and then I could give follow-up information. Stupid? You bet. What will happen is that someone's health will be put in jeopardy because of not being able to "share" information and this "law" will be challenged and changed. The only difference in adults and children, is that parents will be given health information to a minor child....minor being the main point. Hope this clears up some confusion.
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Why would someone not want the patient know of helpful input to their doctor?
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I know the Dr by law cannot speak to anyone without consent of a patient, there needs to be a HIPPA form or POA or GUARDIANSHIP. It is a good thing to be involved and yes I think a good Dr should be glad to have as much input and if you are aiding in care it is nessary for you to know about her health issues.
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Ojala,
You must have a Hippa agreement or he/she cannot legally talk with you about your parent's condition. Yes they will talk with the parent but not necessarily. It depends whether they are a co-conspiritor or not. You still have to talk with them as they can advise you. Deal with the fall out, if there is any.
Best.
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Your mother can sign a form giving permission to the doctor to talk to you about her. If your mother doesn't/hasn't agreed to this, it may be difficult for you. If she does, you should be able to let him/her know your concerns. Does your mother ever ask to see her records? It doesn't seem too likely she would want to read everything in the charts. I have found that there is a generational difference,where she might trust whatever the doctor says more than you might. We have been able to use that as an advantage, i.e. ask the doctor to tell her how important it is to take medications regularly,etc.
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If you do not have POA for your mother, you will probably be whistling in the wind when it comes to talking with the doctor. There is a little thing that has been in place now for several years and it is called HIPPA. It protects a person's right to privacy. If a medical professional violates HIPPA, the initial fine is $25,000....so you can see why he/she would be hesitant to discuss anything with you. Now if your mother tells the doctor that it's alright to give you information, that is a different story.
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P.S. If you write a letter, that becomes part of your mom's file too and thus accessible to her, if she asks for her record.

Also, be clear about the two halves of the communication, which are treated differently, and use this fact when you strategize: namely, you can tell the doctor anything you want, and then you guys figure out what to do with that information (write it down or not); but the doctor can't tell you anything without the patient's permission. So, if you want, you can ask the doctor for an appointment (yes it's professional time and you should pay for it) in which -- you state this upfront -- all the information is going to go only one way, namely from you to him/her. If you make it clear that you understand this, it will help him/her agree to this.
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First, ASK that very question of the doctor him/herself.
Second, s/he doesn't have to tell her, but if s/he wants to remember it -- and in order to remember it -- writes it down or takes notes, those notes become part of the patient's record, and IF SHE ASKS for the record the doctor has to give it to her.

A good doctor will want the information you have to offer. Work out how to do with him/her.
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I am interested in this too - I often go with my mom to see her doctor and am in the room except for the actual physical exam, but I would sure like to visit with him alone sometimes. I do not know if this is presumptuous or not - medical ethics being what they are. Her primary care doctor and I get along well, he enjoys my input and comments, but if I sit in when she goes to her specialist, he looks a me as if I just crawled out from under a rug if I make a comment.
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Write him a letter with your concerns.Make it clear and concise.
It will help him in treating your mother.
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I have found openly discussing my mom's condition front of the doctor and then later amongst ourselves always proves beneficial. A counsuling is a great way as well.
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You can ask the doctor before you talk to him. He may not be able to discuss certain things with you because of the doctor/patient confidentiality. It might help if you have your mom's power of attorney - that would show her intent to have you involved. You can ask him to keep your concerns confidential, but he is your mom's doctor.
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