USC Fertility’s Response to the New York Times Article
“Baby Pictures at the Doctor’s? Cute, Sure, but Illegal”
The New York Times recently published an article about doctors moving baby pictures from their patients out of the public areas in their offices, due to concerns over privacy. The concern arises from a federal patient privacy law known as HIPAA which stand for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which according to the department of health and human services, considers baby photos to be a type of protected health information, like a medical chart or birth date.
Many doctors, especially those at larger institutions have been removing “baby walls” from their offices, even though in many cases these pictures have served as a source happiness for patients and pride for the clinical staff. Technically, according to the law, photos can be displayed if the patient gives specific authorization.
We at USC Fertility, want to respect the privacy of our patients. At the same time, we recognize that these photos did provide comfort and hope to many of our patients striving to have their own families. While we used to have a board of baby photos displayed in the clinical area of the office, as mentioned in the New York Times article, these photos have been taken down and replaced with art.
Although we have decided not to have an official “baby wall” any more at our office, we still love to see pictures of the babies that we have helped bring into this world.
We hope that patients will still send us pictures once their babies are born and for many years after, as these pictures provide our staff with such pleasure, reminding us that all the hard work we do serves an amazing purpose, to help our patients create a family.
If you would like to share your baby pictures with us please send them to our office and be assured that your privacy will be maintained and they will not be posted in public places.
If however, you want to share your story and pictures of your baby with our other patients, and future patients, you can do so through our website. By going to our home page and clicking on “Want to tell us your Story?” or in the patient center and clicking on “send baby pictures!” you can, via email send us baby photos and a testimonial that can be labeled with your name or be anonymous. Let your bundle of joy give hope to those men and women still hoping to start their families.