Pastor Julia's Thoughts
The federal HIPAA laws restrict the disclosure of patient information in hospitals. As a result, I rarely receive calls from the hospitals to let me know someone has been admitted. If you or a family member has been admitted to the hospital or will be having surgery, please let me know by calling my cell phone or the parsonage. Both numbers are listed in the CWF booklet in the front. There is an answering machine on both numbers so please leave a message if you do not reach me directly. I am more than happy to meet you before surgery for prayer and to stay with your family if they wish. There have been many times when I find out that someone has been in the hospital after they are out. I also ask that you let me know who you would like informed. If you wish the information to remain private, I will not share it. This includes not listing it in the bulletin.
We are blessed with many church members who volunteer at the hospitals. I think we assume that they will pass information concerning parishioners onto me. Legally, they cannot look at the patient lists and pass that information on to me. Fines up to $5000 are part of the penalties for sharing patient information without the patient’s permission.
If you wish for me to know about your hospital stays, please let your family know or inform me in advance. I consider it a blessing to be able to share in prayer with you and bring any comfort that I can. I sometimes hear that you “don’t want to bother me.” Friends, that is part of the reason I am here. Please know that I am here to help you in whatever way I can whenever its needed. That includes heading to the hospital in the middle of the night. So please give me a call.
I know that I have shared this information before, but I feel it is something we need to be reminded of from time to time. Enjoy the rest of your summer and keep me informed if there is anything I can do for you. Blessings to each and every one of you.