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Amalia01

Advice needed--Release of Information to Dr.

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I am currently looking for a CBT to address my depression. I have an appointment on Friday morning, but printed out the paperwork required for treatment. There is an Authorization to release Information that I have never encountered before. It states "Communications between Dr. X and your primary care provider or other health care provider is important to insure you receive comprehensive health care that is integrated. By signing this form you authorize Dr. X to exchange information about your treatment history and current treatment progress, as well as diagnoses with your PCP and those health care providers listed, either verbally or in writing." Is this standard? I would think this is releasing my protected information to my PCP. I am concerned because of the stigma associated with POTS to begin with and can be misunderstood at times because of my inability to communicate effectively. Please advise. Thank you.

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My psychiatrist releases info to my PCP regarding any medication changes. They have discussed meds between them. I like this, as my PCP is really good with drug interactions.

My Cognitive Behavioral Therapist can not share anything unless it is life threatening.

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@Amalia01 - this appears pretty standard. The function of your PCP is to coordinate your healthcare - referrals etc. The PCP usually gets a copy of all of your visits, test results etc. This is because he is ultimately responsible for making sure you get seen by the proper specialists. He is also responsible for overseeing all of your test results, labs, xrays etc and acting on them if they are abnormal. So - yes, it is standard practice to include your PCP in all specialist visits, that is his function. 

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Yes, but I see your concern if your PCP wants to chalk your POTS up to anxiety, then you want him out of the loop, unfortunately. I would not sign it and talk to your therapist. Tell them you are concerned it will impact treatment of your medical condition because uninformed doctors like to think of it as a psychological condition instead of medical. Tell him you understand that normally people do coordinate with the PCP.  Maybe he will research dysautonomia. Maybe being honest will make him an ally. 

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I agree that I would talk frankly with your therapist.

I saw a psychiatrist before my POTS diagnosis at the insistence of my PCP who was convinced my only issue was severe anxiety and depression.  She evaluated me and wrote back to him that my symptoms could not possibly be caused by depression and anxiety (and furthermore she did not believe I had anxiety or depression that required treatment--she felt I needed a diagnosis and proper medical treatment).  So I think such a specialist can be helpful in convincing a questioning PCP that there are separate issues--if they are truly working together. 

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Thank to all for your feedback. I discovered that the form is indeed a release of my protected health information. It seems that the way this psychologist structures his practice, is to share personal info with other doctors. He was going to “collaborate” with my doctors and “educate physicians on what he is seeing.” He will divulge protected, personal information with this process. My PCP is aware that I am depressed and has thankfully never indicated that I was anxious. I prefer to see a CBT or psychologist to treat just the depression. I do not have an anxiety disorder that may warrant an interaction with my doctors. It is sometimes difficult to process things with the brain fog. That is what I was dealing with when I originally started this thread. After careful consideration I went with my gut feeling and cancelled my appointment. I couldn’t make sense of the insistence around this even though I made my concerns clear. A “Good Fit” is not optional under these circumstances. Again, thanks to all who replied.

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Just because someone of authority puts a form in front of you doesn't mean you need to sign/agree to it.   Even at that, feel free to cross out and modify anything you disagree with.   In the USA, binding arbitration (taking away your rights to use the court system) is gaining traction, even at medical practices.  More than once I've refused to fill out the form and had no repercussions from it.  If anything, the one interaction led to an interesting discussion with the front-office staff who never really thought about it before.  

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