36 responses

  1. oksana
    September 7, 2006

    i think and its only my opinion that hipaa is a great idea because this way people will know that the info about they is safe

  2. Jay
    March 3, 2007

    Question if a doctor sends your account to a collection and they post this on your credit report is this in violation to the law?

  3. maria
    October 13, 2007

    I requested my EOB from my primary medical group insurance so I can submit to my secondary insurance so they can pay for my medical services ,and when I recieved it , I did not just recieve my information for the services I had done , there was also information with names and services done to other patients along with my information, is this a hippa violoation?

  4. fac_p
    October 21, 2007

    As to the #3 comment from Maria, YES, it was a violation. If you have ever received a mis-directed fax in which patient information is listed, that is a violation of HIPAA as well. Providers have a responsibility to verify current phone and fax numbers before giving out information, especially when faxing medical records. The disclaimer that is routinely included does not mean that the fax meets HIPAA requirements for records transmittal.

    The record Maria received should have been redacted.

    I really think that the possibility of misuse and abuse of the emerging EMR technologies is going to be a nightmare of HIPAA violations. Whether or not they are prosecuted remains in the hands of HHS.

  5. lisa
    December 3, 2007

    I was at an Emergency Room and was treated with very little regard. I then complained to the director of er and was told that she had showed my chart to the nurses involved to get their thoughts. Is this not a Hipaa Violation, couldn’t this have been handled with the nurses seeing the chart without the name. They knew what they had done.

  6. EMR and HIPAA
    December 3, 2007

    lisa,
    I’m not a lawyer and so I can’t give legal advice. I’d suggest consulting an attorney to get an official answer. I think it also depends on the state too.

    However, to me it seems like poor business practice more than a HIPAA violation. The nurses had already seen your name and the information and so it wasn’t exposing them to anything new. They have all signed HIPAA privacy agreements and you could pretty easily argue that they needed to see the information to know how to answer the director’s question.

    Does sound like a poor business practice though. From the little information given, it sounds like the director could have done a better job.

  7. Candace
    January 7, 2008

    LISA – Not only is this not a violation of HIPAA, it would in fact be a normal business practice. When the Director goes to talk to the involved staff about a concern raised by a patient, the staff are not going to be able to respond unless they remember who the patient was and the circumstances of the visit. Given the busy-ness of a typical ER, you may have been just one of hundreds of people seen that week.

  8. Jennifer
    February 28, 2008

    I requested copies of my hipaa releases because I was suspicious about a therapist our family was using, and her unethical behaviors during our treatment with her. I do have a complant pending at the DOH for other matters regarding her. Anyhow, In reviewing the Hipaa releases, I noticed one was “signed” by me on 3/14/05, with entities names written in, in different handwriting, different pen, names of people we had not even met yet. They were people from my daughters high school. On 3/24/05 she was not even in high school yet. She was 13 in the 8th grade on that date. Further more, we did not even begin family therapy until 11/25/05 with this therapist. She altered an authorization after I had signed it, on an old release I had signed for the same facility some months before treatment began with her. What do I do about this? She discussed our therapy wth the school without a valid authorization, and it has caused significant damage, and psychological distress and anxiety. It has gotten so that I cannot even show my face at my child’s high school. I am so embarassed by this.

  9. EMR and HIPAA
    February 29, 2008

    Jennifer,
    Since I’m not a lawyer I really can’t give you legal advice. Plus, even if I was a lawyer, I probably wouldn’t give you legal advice over the internet. However, knowing the types of securities we place on our patient’s information and disclosure it sounds like you have a case worth talking to a lawyer about. Maybe an interested lawyer will see your comment and I’ll put them in touch with you if they express interest.

    Best of luck. It’s unfortunate when private information is shared.

  10. Arcy
    November 5, 2008

    Hello,

    My employer had a medical release by me with specific dates of release 10/23/08-10/31/08. My employer advised me that they left a message for my doctor on 10/30/08, and spoke to my doctor about my condition on 11/4/08. I need clarification if this is a violation of HIPPA, since my doctor and employer spoke after the dates outline in my medical release, or is it within HIPPA regulations because my employer initiated the phone call prior to the expiration date. Also, why would my employer wait til almost the last minute to phone my doctor when they had the release for 7 days. Thoughts?

  11. EMR and HIPAA
    November 6, 2008

    Arcy,
    You’ll have to consult a lawyer for a specific answer to your question. Some of those details are dependent on state laws and things. Plus, I’d be hesitant to offer any sort of legal advice online like this. Especially since I’m not a lawyer and I can’t offer legal advice.

  12. Tim
    November 17, 2008

    I have a question. I requested my records from a state hospital (NY). I was told that to VIEW the records there was a $25 per hour fee. I told them that the HIPAA guidelines forbid charging a “viewing fee” and was told that state law trumps the HIPAA policy. I cant get anywhere, any suggestions?

  13. EMR and HIPAA
    November 17, 2008

    Tim,
    Of course, I’ll put out the mandatory disclaimer that I’m not a lawyer and I know nothing about NY. Talk to a real lawyer for legal advice.

    I can tell you that we’ve had to deal with one issue in our clinic where the state law was different and more specific than HIPAA. So, our lawyers advised us to go with the stricter of the 2 laws which was our state law. I guess that might mean that it could be the same in NY.

    Crappy part is that consulting a lawyer on the subject will cost you more than just paying the viewing fee.

    Best of luck. I’m sorry that I’m not more help. My expertise is more with technology and implementing technical components according to HIPAA standards.

  14. lori
    December 10, 2008

    I have a question i would like to have answered or tell me which direction i need to go from here.
    Last week I received an envelope from a large company in ft worth. I am at least 400 miles from Ft Worth and know no one at that company. Inside the envelope was a DETAILED billing along with ss#, birth dates AND a copy of my insurance company’s check stub with not just MY insurance info but 2 other people as well. In the middle of the detailed bill was a sticky note that said: Not a Ben E Keith Co employee. I contacted them and they said they are not sure why they got it but mailed it to me as my name and address was on the detailed bill. I then contacted the hospital that sent it to Ben E Keith company and was assured that i would hear back from them the next day. A week went by and all i received from them was a bill saying my ins had not paid until today–when i received a very lack-luster “apology” from the regional privacy officer.
    The “apology” was written on Friday and not mailed out until yesterday.
    I am very very upset with them. At this point not only have they violated my Hippa rights they have also placed me at risk of identity theft and insurance fraud theft. What do you suggest I do now?

  15. EMR and HIPAA
    December 12, 2008

    lori,
    Sounds like it would be worth your while to talk to a lawyer and see what recourse you have. Each state has different laws and I’m not a lawyer, plus without all the details of the case it would be hard to say. However, it sounds like it would be worth seeking out some legal council.

  16. Bella
    December 24, 2008

    Is it a Hipaa Violation, if I was a patient at the hospital i work at and my nurse who is also a co worker told other coworkeres in the hospital who were NOT involved in my care, how and what was wrong with me along with how i was as a patient and she also so falsely charted in her patient notes about my hourly activites.I got a printed medical history of my time at the hospital, and so i found out all of this, and also about what she said to other co workers. Would this be a violation? I intend on talking to my lawyer next week.

  17. EMR and HIPAA
    December 25, 2008

    Bella,
    Good idea to consult your lawyer. If that doesn’t work well or if it’s too expensive, you might also contact the hospital’s privacy officer. They are usually pretty good at these types of things.

  18. Ginelle Kuper
    February 6, 2009

    If a patient heard a doctor telling another patient’s family that the cancer had spread to the adjacent organs. The doctor was speaking in a low tone in a corner of the hallway. Is this a privacy violation?

  19. EMR and HIPAA
    February 6, 2009

    Ginelle,
    I prefer not to give specific advice on what’s a HIPAA violation or not on this website. That’s best done by a lawyer who can investigate all the intricacies of a certain situation. I mostly try to focus on various HIPAA violations that have been in the news and leave the legal stuff to lawyers. I know that’s not much help, but if you’re concerned you might want to consult a lawyer.

  20. Patricia
    February 24, 2009

    I retained an attorney for a personal injury. The attorney’s release of information form was not HIPAA compliant as I recently found. Additionally, the attorney had duplicated a form I signed and sent copies around to various doctors (not mentioning why he requested them) just to get my medical records. My tests such as pap smears, mammograms, etc, and other confidential matters and records even from other doctors were sent to the attorney. My doctor gave him any records she had relative to my medical care. Inturn, the attorney released everything to the other attorney. Now I find the release form was not HIPAA complaint? What good is HIPAA and any violations if nothing can be legally done? To me HIPAA means nothing as there is no protection for a person’s medical records or information. I received a letter from CIVIL RIGHTS stating that the form was not HIPAA compliant? but the doctors office released my records anyways? The truth is that nothing can be done legally anyways even though my rights were violated!

  21. Rachelle
    March 18, 2009

    Hi, I’m a nursing student doing a class project related to HIPAA. We’re trying to find out if taking pictures of patients, specifically of existing wounds on hospital admission, and of wounds acquired duing a hospital admission, is a violation of HIPAA, or if it is covered as part of the medical record. If you have any input, it would be greatly appreciated.

  22. John
    March 18, 2009

    Rachelle,
    Don’t take anything I say as legal advice since I’m not a lawyer. However, for a class my advice is pretty good.

    You can take pictures of a wound. In fact, many people including ourselves do it. In our case we especially do it for sexual assaults so that they have evidence should they need it.

    In our case, we do require them to sign a consent for photo which basically gives us permission to take their picture. I’m not sure if this is legally necessary or if we’re just covering our backside, but seems like a good idea to me regardless.

    So, it is not a violation of HIPAA to take the picture. it would be a violation of HIPAA if we released it to people without the patient’s consent.

    I believe a picture is considered protected health information (PHI) and so it is part of the medical record and would be covered by the same privacy requirements as other PHI.

    In our case, we attach ours directly in the electronic medical record so it is protected and secured by the electronic medical record.

    I hope this helps.

  23. ALR
    March 22, 2009

    Hey, I have a quick question… I was admited to the hospital, had some personal issues arise and didn’t dicuss it with anyone. Last night a good friend who has no contact with the hospital sent me a message wanting to know if I had something going on? I know this information came from a nurse that may or may not have been on duty when I was admitted. I know this nurse told her why I was admitted. I’m very upset, what recourse do I have?? I know she told my personal health information to my friends.

  24. John
    March 28, 2009

    ALR,
    As you can see above, I don’t really give specific legal advice. I’ll leave that to lawyers. I did recently come across a health care attorney on Twitter. I don’t know her very well yet, but from what I’ve read she seems to know what she’s talking about. You can find her: http://www.healthlawoffices.com/

  25. PAUL
    April 10, 2009

    Recently our facility started doing shift change reports at the patients bedside. Our rooms are all semi-private, and members of both patients familys are often present. Is this activity a violation of HIPPA policy?

  26. John
    April 10, 2009

    Paul,
    Each case is specific, so you’ll want to check with an attorney to know the real answer. Try this website if you don’t know anyone else: http://www.healthlawoffices.com/

  27. “mary”
    April 11, 2009

    When going through training at a Fortune 500 company, the trainer disclosed openly my medical disability to supervisors when introducing me to them. There wyers, correct?
    were other ADA violations aswell. I know EEOC will be contacted, but where else can I go to for help since HIPPA and ADA would be handled by two different types of la

  28. John
    April 11, 2009

    Mary,
    I could be wrong since I’m not a lawyer and can’t give legal advice, but my understanding is that HIPAA wouldn’t probably apply in this case since you’re employer isn’t a healthcare professional (unless you’re an employee at a hospital or something). Seems like the ADA violation and EEOC are the best ways to go.

  29. jeffrey hendryx
    April 15, 2009

    i work at a medical center in plant services, as a part of my job via work order i am asked to retrieve patient folders from a storeage area to carry back to the oncology department for their review. I am given only the name and date of birth of the patient to locate these folders. Am I in violation of any hippa rules by performing this requested task?

  30. John
    April 15, 2009

    Jeffrey,
    Have you gone through a HIPAA training and signed a form saying that you’ll abide by HIPAA guidelines? If you have, then I don’t see a problem with it. You work under the same company and if you’ve learned and signed an agreement to abide by HIPAA, then it should all be fine.

    For example, in my case, we make everyone that has access to our server room go through the HIPAA training and sign the HIPAA forms. Just better to be safe than sorry.

  31. Crystal
    April 24, 2009

    Generally speaking, do Free Clinics have to abide by HIPPA reglulations? Not interested in filing any lawsuits here….Reason I ask is that my mother is uninsured and has to recieve her health care at a local free clinic, staffed mostly by volunteers. I accompanied her last week to pick up her medications, and the window attendant asked my mother questions about her blood sugar levels, blood pressure and bowel habits in front of a crowded waiting room. This is common practice at this particular clinic. My mother is fairly timid, and does not want to ’cause a bigger scene’ or risk retaliation, so I ask sheerly out of morbid curiosity. Any input will be appreciated.

  32. John
    April 24, 2009

    Crystal,
    I’d say they would need to follow HIPAA if they’re a health care organization. Might not do as well with a sympathetic jury, but they if they are healthcare providers they’re still governed by the same laws I believe.

  33. Erin
    July 10, 2009

    I live at home with my mother and I was under her medical insurance until April 2008. I still go to that doctor, but they have since made several errors and billed her insurance instead of mine. Once we finally got that nightmare resolved, this happened:

    I just went to the doctor to get some medical tests and everything done. A bill was sent to my home with an itemized list of every procedure and test that was ran. It said I was the patient, charged MY insurance, but the bill was sent and addressed to my mother. When I called to complain, they said it was some sort of clerical error with the correspondence. I still feel like my rights were violated because my medical information was sent to my mother without consent. Whether it was a harmless error or not, I’m still pretty upset about it.

    Does anyone have any advice on what I should do? Does it sound like my rights were violated and I have grounds for a lawsuit, or should I just let it go?

  34. John
    July 10, 2009

    Erin,
    You’ll need to consult a healthcare lawyer to know about lawsuit and violations of law. However, if you didn’t have any real damages, I’d just suggest possibly calling your state health services about a possible violation. That way it holds the place accountable, but doesn’t contribute to this sue happy society we live in.

    Just my take. If there were damages to you or your family, then I’d say talk to a lawyer.

  35. peggy
    August 8, 2009

    When we call in sick at my place of employment, a NYS health care facility, our SV insists on knowing what is wrong. When we return to work our coworkers know the details of our illness. Is this a violation of our privacy rights?

  36. John
    August 8, 2009

    peggy,
    Hard to say without knowing the details and the state laws. So, you should consult a lawyer.

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