Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer Health Care

Patient Name change Policy

  • 1.  Patient Name change Policy

    Posted 03-04-2019 03:20 PM
    I am wondering what everyone's policy is on documentation for name changes?  Do you request marriage or divorce legal paperwork?
    What about for those people transitioning, do you require legal paperwork showing that they have transitioned from male to female or female to male?
    We ran into a situation last week, where a patient requested a name change example Bob to Sue.  Our scheduler asked if they would like to update any other demographic information, and they were told no.   However when our pre-registration team verified the insurance, the insurance company has this person listed as a female and we have them listed as a male in our EHR.  Our Pre-reg team wanted the scheduler to call and get legal name change paperwork from this person.
    My concern is we do not request this of our married/divorced patients, do any of you have experience with this sort of situation, what do you do in general for name change requests? Do you have a separate policy for other demographics changes i.e. gender, language, race, marital status, ethnicity?
    Thank you for your help!!

    Kim Stigman
    Quality & Compliance Manager
    Associated Eye Care
    2019 HCCA Compliance Institute

  • 2.  RE: Patient Name change Policy

    Posted 03-05-2019 10:02 AM
    In the past when we have dealt with this type of situation, we called the patient by the preferred name. However, we have a conversation with the patient that we cannot change their name or sex in the medical record until we have the legal proof of the name change and/or the sex change.
    We found we couldn't get paid by insurance because the patient had not been legally recognized as male or female; therefore, insurance had the name and sex as the birth name and sex. Normally our patients understand and we respect their wishes and preferences by using the name they wish to use.

    Deborah Dabbs CHC,CHPC,CHRC,MBA,Other
    Compliance Manager
    Univ Medical Center

    2019 HCCA Compliance Institute

  • 3.  RE: Patient Name change Policy

    Posted 03-05-2019 01:17 PM
    The only two types of changes I'm aware of is after a divorce and adoption.  We need copies of the divorce decree and adoption order before we change names in our registration system/EHR.

    David Garrison CHC,CHPC
    Compliance/Privacy Officer

    2019 HCCA Compliance Institute