He got tested for HIV and was negative, but somehow it was entered into his records he was HIV positive, and the problems began. What can he do? Plus do handicapped people have to pay for parking, and can anyone block a road to do work? Let’s get some answers in tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
A fellow attacked Vernard…
Vernard Sands: “Yeah, I won that fight.”
Vernard won that day, but the next day he lost when the fellow came back and shot him six times.
Patrick Fraser: “Were you lucky to live?”
Vernard Sands: “Yes, sir. I died six times on that table, but I’m still here.”
Vernard’s wounds healed. Now his biggest pain comes from a medical error.
Vernard Sands: “They told me I got special needs. I’m like, ‘special need?’ They said, ‘Yes, for HIV.'”
Vernard had blood work done. It showed he was negative for HIV but someone wrote in his chart he was positive for HIV.
Vernard Sands: “I said, ‘No, I don’t have HIV.'”
When the information that Vernard was HIV positive was entered into his records, they shifted Vernard from the insurance company he chose to clear Health Alliance.
Patrick Fraser: “What do they treat people for?”
Vernard Sands: “HIV positive people.”
And that is not the insurance company Vernard wants.
Vernard Sands: “I can’t get my regular insurance. I got to be on insurance. They’re taking people for AIDS. I don’t have HIV.”
Vernard wants the information corrected for medical reasons and for his own pride.
Vernard Sands: “If that goes on in there, in the computer, can you imagine when it hit the real world that I have it and I don’t.”
Well, Howard, legally how do you correct a mistake in your medical records?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “In most cases, notify your doctor, so they can fix it. In this case, if the lab or medical provider won’t correct the mistake, file a complaint with HIPPA, and let the feds straighten it out.”
The next question comes from something we see a lot. Work crews block a lane of traffic here to cut trees, meaning drivers have to divert and find another way to get to their destination.
Here, landscaping guys close a lane to trim hedges, and traffic is backed up as vehicles are slowly squeezed into one lane.
So, Mr. Finkelstein, can anyone just close traffic to trim hedges, trees or paint stripes on the road?
Howard Finkelstein: “There’s not a lot of laws regulating this. If a city or county wants to trim hedges, they can close a lane. If a private business is hired to trim trees, they don’t have the legal authority to block a lane, but practically speaking, police allow it to protect the power lines roads, etc.”
A disabled viewer has a handicapped sticker. His question, does he have to pay for parking if he parks in a handicapped space?
Howard Finkelstein: “If you use metered parking on the street you get up to four hours free of charge. Otherwise, you pay the same as everybody else, you just get to park closer.”
A viewer had dental work done. A year later, they wanted the records. The dentist’s office said they threw them away. Can a medical provider just throw away your files?
Howard Finkelstein: “No, you cannot. Dental records have to be kept four years and medical for five. If your provider doesn’t have them, file a complaint with their regulating agency.”
It took awhile, but we were able to help Vernard. He got another HIV test again showing he was negative.
The state then moved him back with the insurance company he wanted, instead of the one that specializes in patients with HIV, but he said they still wouldn’t even tell him who made the mistake in the first place.
Vernard Sands: “I’m still trying to find out where and who put it on my file as I got HIV.”
Blame it on HIPPA rules, Vernard.
Howard Finkelstein: “And I mentioned filing a complaint to find your medical records or to correct a mistake in them. They are at wsvn.com under this Help me Howard story.”
Something’s ailing you and you need a cure? Prescribe us to give it a shot. We don’t have a stethoscope, but Howard did read a law book once.
With this Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser, I’m Howard Finkelstein 7News.
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HIPPA Complaint Form:
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