Health History and HIPPA

Dr. Matt here, FisherJones Family Dentistry (FJFD) says, “It’s time to update your Health History form”. You, “I did that last time”. FJFD, “I know but that was more than five years ago”. You, “Well there are no changes………….
Did you know that most of your insurance carriers will not help you with your benefits unless we have a currently signed Health History?
Did you know that the mouth is the gateway to your entire body and well being? We are often the care givers that notice subtle changes in your head and neck region that indicate that something may be going on in your other organ systems.
Did you know that routine Local Anesthetic (people refer to it as Novocain but Novocain has not been used in dentistry since 1965) may contain the most powerful cardiac drug on the planet Epinephrine? We use an assortment of “Cain’s” that can be kind on your Heart and Nervous System when we have a current Health History.
I once said to a patient, “Any changes in your health since last time I saw you?” They said “no”. The older man needed a tooth out and was in pain. We got the tooth numb and pulled it out. I spent the next two hours trying to establish a clot; he just kept on bleeding. He said, “You know I take blood thinners since my open heart surgery last month”. I believe that filling out an updated Health History would have prevented this potential life threatening emergency even though an update was sought verbally. When you go through the systematic Health History form it allows you to pause and really think about your current health situation. We have methodically assembled it to try and discover every possible Dental Implication.
You primary care Physician will not see you until you fill out a new one every time you go in for anything; so why is it so strange that FJFD is asking. We verbally ask you at every visit, “Have there been any changes in your health?” The verbal update works well for awhile but after five years we need a fresh start.
To update your Health History go to the internet and enter Click on the Patient Registration Tab. Then Click on Patient Health History Form. The Form is two pages and it took me about 10 minutes to complete. Press the submit button. When you come in to the office we will have you sign and date it electronically. Thank you for being proactive in your health.
In addition to a current written Health History every five years you will need to Acknowledge and Authorize your HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) form. We want to protect your medical information and keep it private. This form tells how your information may be used and disclosed. HIPPA started in 2003 and should sound familiar. The document is 7 pages, large print. You will see the Tab (HIPPA Notice of Privacy Practices) directly below when you do your Health History Form. You do not submit anything but sign and date it electronically when you are in the office. It took me 4 minutes to read it. If you want to print it and read it at your leisure; click on Patient Information, select Privacy Policy and click on HIPPA Privacy Policy Notice. Wallah! Thank you for helping us be in compliance with the Federal Government Department of Health and Welfare.

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