New HIPAA form needed to see nurse

Township wide decision changes nursing policy at SHS


David Worland

Nurse Tracy Chupp works at her desk on Sept. 9. Chupp thinks the form will help with organization of student health information.

David Worland, Reporter

Perry Township has recently entered into a partnership with Community Hospital. Every nurse’s office and clinic in Perry Township schools will be under contract through Community Hospital.

Like all hospitals, Community Hospital requires that adults, 18 and over and the parents of minors sign the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or the HIPAA form. The stipulations of HIPAA are that students enrolled in Perry Township schools must have a HIPAA form filled out in order to be seen by the licensed nurses coming to schools from Community Hospital. Unless it is an absolute emergency, no exceptions will be made.

To fill out the form, parents of students can go to the student info/registry tab on Skyward and fill it out through there, or students can pick up a paper copy of the form in the clinic. The form is set to take action and be in effect starting January 1st. The school nurse at SHS, Patti Pinkston, believes the form comes with more advantages than it does disadvantages.

“It’s a positive thing,” Pinkston said. “I don’t want students and parents to think it isn’t.”

According to Pinkston and registered nurse, Tracy Chupp, the main benefit of HIPAA is it protects the information of a student’s health, such as, but not limited to, any physical, mental, or social disorders. The HIPAA form does not apply to just the clinic of schools as they also apply to the athletic department of schools.

Sophomore Sydni Rich, who originally didn’t know about the form, thinks that there are flaws in the form, but is on board with it.

“People may need to get quick medication and may not have that form filled out,” Rich said. “But, in certains areas, yes it is a good thing.”

Senior Sierra Roberts, like Rich, thinks there are gray areas in the form but thinks it’s a good thing overall.

“They should help regardless of the form,” Roberts said. “…I like what they’re doing, though.”

Before Community Hospital made the contract with Perry Township, elementary schools were not required to have licensed nurses. Once Community Hospital takes over in January, those elementary schools will have licensed nurses, according to Pinkston.

One positive thing that Pinkston and Chupp stressed about the form is the schools in Perry Township no longer have to pay a wage to the nurses.  Community Hospital is integrating themselves with the school clinic and because of that, the school clinic will no longer be a school clinic but a part of Community Hospital itself. Therefore, Community Hospital is responsible for paying the wage of the nurses and not schools in Perry Township.