"Phony patient privacy at TCBH
The Tulsa Center for “Behavioral Health” claims that it can neither confirm nor deny the presence of any “consumer” inside its walls, citing HIPPA regulations. In its “Uncivil Rights” section, mentalillnesspolicy.org blames HIPPA regulations for keeping family members from finding out the status of loved ones who get scooped up by or shoved into mental institutions like TCBH. But what’s the truth?
When a friend of mine ended up in the hospital after a fall, I could call any hospital in town and find out whether or not he had been admitted, was there, or had been discharged. I could get his room number and telephone number. On one of those occasions, I went to visit him. HIPPA did not stop me.
Yet both kinds of institutions are covered by HIPPA. They both have to obey it. What’s the difference? Why in one case should even immediate family be deliberately kept in the dark about the status of their loved ones? Even the county jail has public information on who is there right up on the internet. Why is TCBH so special?
It’s not. The truth is that alternative incarceration in a mental facility was originally meant to apply only to those who had committed crimes while mentally ill. Under that system, they could be admitted to a place like TCBH, to be treated for mental health issues that gave rise to criminal behavior, only after (note this) publicly renouncing all claims to innocence.
Places like TCBH don’t adhere to such legal niceties. After being arrested in public by swarming police, whom apparently HIPPA does not restrict from publicly humiliating people, the inmates are “evaluated” by “mental health professionals” who have been shown by research to be wrong about two out of every three times. Even when they don’t put their thumbs on the scales in their own favor, to justify their own jobs.
Who is the so-called privacy for? By the time people get to TCBH, the public police swarm and handcuffing has already pulled the privacy cat out of its bag. If friends and neighbors who were never interviewed didn’t think there was anything wrong with an inmate before, they now have reason to wonder. If the inmates hadn’t been stressed out and emotionally troubled before, they are now.
HIPPA has nothing to do with it. Places like TCBH are not primarily involved in medical care. Places like TCBH function mainly as gulags for people who have annoyed someone with more social power with “inappropriate behavior”. Their “treatment” mainly consists of making the inmate feel guilty and responsible for whatever someone else didn’t like about them. For every person that might actually be having a mental health crisis, one can expect that TCBH houses at least two more who are there merely to have their attitudes adjusted to better suit those around them on the outside.
Instead, the “privacy” is for TCBH and the Mental Health Court, so that no one on the outside can see that they are not truly a health care facility or dedicated to Constitutional justice, or examine their “standard of care” or their standards of due process, and complain about them.
So the next time someone disappears into the gulag, and the gulag says, “We can neither confirm nor deny”, don’t take the gulag’s word. If you truly care about that person, get a lawyer and a judge and force the gulag to disclose your loved one’s status, and to allow in other Doctors whom you trust, to examine your loved one and produce a second opinions. You might just find that the so-called mental health crisis was produced and/or manufactured by publicly humiliating police action and the same people who claim to be “treating” it. "