A couple of weeks ago, I took Mason to an orthodontist in Chattanooga. We needed to have another doctor take over his Invisalign care. He’d been doing just fine with his orthodontist in Florida. This doctor, however, wanted to shave down enamel between his front teeth to make more room (seriously…how much more room can that possibly make?), and start pulling teeth. I knew they were trying to overtreat him so we left.
1. On Monday, I found another orthodontist here in Trenton who said Mason is moving along very nicely and he doesn’t need those “extra treatments.” That was the ONE good thing that happened on Monday.
2. I went to the mailing place to pick up our mail. I knew a big box was there with business mail forwarded from the UPS store in Florida to our new place here. No box was there. I went home and checked the tracking number. Called the mailing place, and said, “It was left at the side door.”
The lady said, “Oh, okay. I’ll check.” She came back to the phone, and said, “Your box is here but it’s soaking wet.” Greeeeat. Don’t worry. It was all salvageable.
3. Came home to find a bird dead in our blueberry bushes. 🙁
4. Tried to send ACH payments to two of our vendors. It wasn’t working. Synovus had upgraded their entire system. Spent almost two hours on the phone with them. Didn’t work. I had to leave to take Mason to his movie making class in Chattanooga. (Synovus finally got it fixed the next day.)
5. I found a shady spot to sit in my vehicle in the parking lot. I needed to get some work done. With the shade and a breeze, it wasn’t that bad. Then, a big thunderstorm came along and I had to close the windows. It got too warm and stuffy so I had to start the vehicle to turn on the AC. I sat there for 3 hours turning it on and off every few minutes. NOT fun. I couldn’t sit in the theater building because they’re limiting access (Covid).
6. Got a phone call about a very ill family member. That person was fully vaccinated (Pfizer) in February but it didn’t work. That person’s spouse is also ill, was also vaccinated by Pfizer, got tested for antibodies over the weekend, and has none.
7. Got a phone call from the water department. She said, “This is a courtesy call to let you know you’ve used 15,000 gallons of water this month.”
She asked if we were filling a swimming pool. I said no, but that we have a garden that we have to water every evening because it’s been so hot. Brian checked. We don’t have any leaks. The water bill will only be about $100 so I stopped freaking out after asking about that.
8. Got a phone call from the Department of Health. Despite the Covid testing company NOT listing anything on their website about their plans to do so, they gave ALL of my information to the government. Name, address, phone number, test results, and probably my date of birth, my answers to the health questions they asked, and everything else, too. I WAS (AND AM) LIVID! If I’d known they were going to give my PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION to anyone, I wouldn’t have gotten the antibody test.
Their first response was about how the state governments force them to share the positive and negative results for “statistical purposes.” She said no identifying information is given. Just test results. THAT WAS A BIG, FAT LIE. The health department knew my name, stated my address (to confirm my identity), and, of course, they had my phone number and test results. And, since I ordered a test for Mason (a minor), they have his information, too, and undoubtedly shared that as well.
I’m not some shmuck who blindly clicks to accept things on a website. I read what I’m agreeing to. I knew they did NOT have my permission to do what they did. I gave them permission to share my information with the lab (for identifying my results), and my contact information with their merchant company (so they could charge my card). I was self-pay so there was no insurance company reporting. At NO TIME did I give them permission to share my personal medical information with anyone else.
I pushed back, sending another email to them, and stating what I wrote above, including telling her that I’d have not purchased the test had I known what they were going to do with my information.
She wrote back again and, clearly, she isn’t an attorney because she apologized, admitted that disclosure wasn’t on their site, admitted that they hadn’t gotten permission to do that from ANY of their customers, and sent me the new statement they were going to put on their website right away. And, she asked “what they can do to make this right.” And, she wanted to talk to me on the phone. No freakin’ way, lady. This is ALL going to be in writing!!
They must know they could be in VERY hot water for violating the privacy of ALL of their Covid testing customers in this manner. I didn’t respond to her last email. I will be filing a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/filing-a-complaint/index.html) and I may contact an attorney as well.
I’m pretty sure the testing company purposely did not include the reporting information on their website because, if people knew their personal health information was going to be shared with the government (and who knows who else), many would likely not buy that test.
Look at THIS GRAPHIC for the consequences for violating HIPAA laws.
9. My brain was pretty addled by that point. Mason got out of his class and, when we were driving over a hill, traffic was stopped on the other side. I ALMOST smashed into the small car in front of me but my brakes work really well. Mason probably had to change his underwear when we got home.
After we got back home, I wanted to crawl under my bed until the next day but I had too much work to do.
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