Wow! This is ‘snafu’ in all its glory.
One thing at play here: The seemingly ‘purposely’ releasing of private information about, apparently, ALL people committed voluntarily or not in our psych hospitals. I expect that there will be an investigation into this seemingly wide-spread contagion of forgetfulness about patients privacy rights. This is serious, though.
RELEASING THE LIST OF PSYCHIATRIC IN-PATIENTS
If this doesn’t have ‘conspiracy’ written all over it, its definition must be reviewed.
a) “More than nine out of ten reports so far have come from hospitals or state psychiatric centers — including hundreds [how many hundreds?]of reports filed in a single day in late April by state psychiatric hospitals. [“hundreds’ “in a single day” is too much for it to be a ‘mistake’.]
b) “Yet some reports, testified Wolkenbreit, are being filed by someone other than the mental health provider seeing the patient, and many appear to be computer generated, based on existing patient files.[If only mental health providers can file, who violated the rule and why?]
c) “Benjamin Rosen, a spokesperson for the state Office of Mental Health, acknowledged in an email statement that this spring many [how many is “many”?] psychiatric patients [not in-patients included?] were automatically referred [by who?]to county officials.”
d) “From March 16, 2013 to May 6, 2013, while OMH was building a reporting portal for state psychiatric hospitals [hmm], reports were initiated [from where and by whom?] based on admissions to state psychiatric hospitals [all people admitted from March 16 to May 6? From All psych hospitals?], although mental health professionals had the ability to prevent reports from being forwarded for those persons who did not meet NY SAFE Act criteria,” said Rosen,…[who are they who did not prevent the reports from being forwarded?]
e) “In many cases [again, how many?] mental health providers listed on the documents, when contacted by community services directors for review, either said that they had not filed the reports… according to Wolkenbreit.”
So, WHO filed the reports and why? Is the DCS or OMH investigating these ‘false’ reports of people “who did not meet the Safe Act criteria”? Did the psych hospitals receive orders from anyone, in the hospitals or by someone in OMH, to file the reports en mass? What are the chances that all those people working at state psych hospitals could have, at unison almost, made the same mistake of breaking a privacy law they ought to know by heart? How come other institutions, private, did not commit the ‘mistake’?
Did the Department of Community Services forwarded ALL of the names in the report to the NYPD?
“Of the 6,000 reports that have been filed, 11 have been acted upon,” testified Jed Wolkenbreit, counsel to the New York State Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors, Inc., citing figures from the state Office of Mental Health.
What does “acted upon” means? That 11 were forwarded to the NYPD or to the Department of Criminal Justice? How many, if any, were sent to the NYPD or to the DCJ?
This is a debacle. This is beyond stigma and violations to HIPPA. Evidently HIPPA is there to protect privacy. It’s PRIVACY and rights that are at stake here.
I’m sure that the NYPD is happy if this ‘error’ provided them with info about who is in mental treatment. The surveillance state has being feverish at work trying to compile a data base of EVERYBODY officially diagnosed as mentally ill. Sure, it’s to ‘protect’ you from yourself and others.
With stigma or without it, our police wants to have a dossier of everyone whom it considers a threat to the establishment, a ‘potential terrorist’. It’s our collective liberty what is at stake here. We, as people with disabilities, are just ONE of the many groups being labeled for ‘security’ purposes.
Everyone ought to stand by us in this debacle. It will happen to you next.
Comment by Lourdes C.