Last month I had the great pleasure to join with some of the nation’s most esteemed Therap users along with many fantastic Therap employees. It was the perfect storm of a Therap nerd in a Therap candy shop! What more could I ask from life? It was an awesome couple of days of discussion and insight into the plethora of Therap features and developments. Some people have stamp collections, some go to comic book conventions; I have Therap conferences. Don’t judge.
One day, the topic of how do you grant access to state auditors came up and I nonchalantly stated ‘we have set up generic reviewer accounts…’ And a communal gasp sucked the air out of the room. Murmurs could be heard… ‘Noooo, wait…she didn’t just say that did she?’ ‘How dare she!’ ‘Someone told me this girl was smart, but they must have been blinded by her good looks.’
Okay, maybe that’s not exactly how it went. But there was some shock and possibly indignation in the voice that told me ‘The individual has a right to know exactly who is looking at their data.’ And that really did knock the air out of me. A violation of rights! How could I? Maybe I should just humbly resign on the spot. But no! I had the presence of mind and quick thinking to respond ever so logically and elegantly ‘yeah… um… so… but… how… ugh’. Not my proudest moment.
Fast forward to last week…I get a call from one of our agency’s Therap Provider Administrators: “AHCA is here to survey our program and they want to see some GERs’. (AHCA is Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration). At first I think ‘ok, activate one of the review accounts and add the appropriate caseloads…’ But the sting of my exposure as a violator of rights was fresh in my memory, so I reversed course and said ‘create a new user, ask the surveyors for their first and last names and go from there.’ And then I did a Tiger Woods fist pump and shouted ‘booyah!’ while standing in front of the gym. Perhaps I stray from the truth again, but just a tiny little bit.
Hang on a minute, though…my celebration is interrupted by conversation and confusion on the other end of the line. Eventually, I am on the phone with the ACHA surveyor, really the nicest person ever (until I spoke with her supervisor, who might have been even nicer!) and she is expressing hesitation about a named account and can they just have a guest account. I say ‘but that is a violation of rights!’ And she says ‘Okay, I will definitely discuss this with my supervisor but for now we just want a guest account or printed copies.’ And just like that, I am back in the gutter with all the other rights violators, miscreants and ne’er-do-wells.
Two days later, my phone rings. It is the ACHA surveyor, and again, so nice! She has discussed the issue with her supervisor and they would like one general ACHA account. I fearlessly carry forward the argument with something eloquent like ‘but the rights, and HIPAA and stuff…’ She gives me her supervisor’s name and number. I take the info and write an internal email to our leader of Florida operations, wanting some consensus before I start calling supervisors in state agencies. But it’s Friday and things are slow, people are out, events are going on, I don’t receive a reply to my email. But, I do get another phone call, it’s the ACHA supervisor! And we have a great conversation about rights and HIPAA and stuff! She said that when my pleas of rights and HIPAA violations were relayed to her she “saw the future”. No kidding, she said that! The company line response, however, was this…’When a representative from ACHA reviews a person’s documentation, it is ACHA, not an individual person that is performing that act. The surveyors are ACHA; ACHA is their first and last name. It was a point well made. Why couldn’t I have been so articulate when I was called on the carpet weeks earlier…dang it.
Anyway, she said she would discuss the issue with Tallahassee, meaning the issue is moving up the ACHA ladder to the top leaders. I gave her my complete contact info (because I never gave it to them before and I still don’t really know how they got my phone number in the first place) and gave her the phone number for the regional Therap representative…btdubs, hope you read this, Barry. Then we exchanged some more pleasantries and said goodbye. Now look, maybe I get sarcastic from time to time…maybe…but when I say that the folks I spoke with from ACHA were nice, I mean it with absolute sincerity. Maybe I should send them a thank you note, or better yet, a Therap hat and water bottle! Who doesn’t love Therap schwag?!?!
Alas, there is no end to this story as of yet, just like it is starting to feel like there is no end to this blog. I failed miserably as a psychic hotline operator (how could I have known?) but despite that, I do believe, sometime in the future this story is going to end happily ever after.