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HIPPA - I believe my privacy has been violated. Need advice.

Discussion in 'Health Insurance, HMO, HIPAA & Disability' started by annieoc, Jan 21, 2011.

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  1. annieoc

    annieoc Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I believe my privacy has been violated. I had an appointment with my doctor. When I went in the office I was met by the office manager/Dr's nurse in the waiting room. She presented me with my medical file and said “they” could not meet my medical needs. I was in complete shock! My daughter and a friend were with me and patients were in the waiting room. There were also patients coming in and out during this discussion. And, the receptionist and other office employees were behind the opened glass sign in window and could hear everything being said. I asked her why she was doing this. She said my daughter had bothered the office workers too much by making a call and asking questions concerning “my” medications and side effects (withdrawal symptoms) I was having. This woman had no concern for my health or my privacy. We ask to speak in an examination room or elsewhere. We were told no. We had no where else but the public waiting room to discuss this issue. When I insisted on speaking to the doctor she said absolutely no! She discussed my prescriptions that she already had written and told me to go elsewhere. This woman is like a little “HITLER” and I’m sure the doctor was totally oblivious to all that was taking place. The NP that worked there, a friend, had quit because she said she could not work with this woman and objected to the managers treatment of patients. I am still hurt and embarrassed by the entire episode. I want to pursue this. I can provide more details if needed. Would I have “grounds” to contest a violation of the HIPAA law?


    Thanks to all who offer their time and assistance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  2. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Even if this was a HIPAA violation - which is questionable - there would be no monetary gain.

    What is it you wish to accomplish?
     
  3. annieoc

    annieoc Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Why is there a HIPAA law if there are NO consequences??? My medical business should not have been discussed in the waiting room of a doctor's office. What is the HIPAA law if not to protect ones privacy? I'm very confused!
     
  4. irish223

    irish223 Moderator

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    Did the office manager discuss your medical information before she told you that their office could not meet your medical needs?
     
  5. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    There ARE consequences - to those who actually break the law.

    There are NOT however monetary damages to those affected by such a breach.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Why would anyone want to patronize a business that abused them?

    Write a letter to the physician.
    Send same to his home and business.

    That is about all you can do.

    Trust me, the doc knows what she's doing.
     
  7. annieoc

    annieoc Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Are you a lawyer?
     
  8. annieoc

    annieoc Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I had NO idea anything like this would ever happen...I would not have gone there to be abused.
     
  9. annieoc

    annieoc Law Topic Starter New Member

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    1. She discussed my "scripts" before telling me to find another doctor.

    2. She declined letting us in another room where we could talk privately.

    3. She wants the "power" and I'm sure the doctor now knows but, he has no _ _ _ _s.

    4. I would like to know she was fired...I was a 1st grade teacher for 33 years and I know how people should be treated! I'm beginning to think "good guys DO finish last!!!"
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  10. irish223

    irish223 Moderator

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    Well, you didn't exactly answer my question. Anyway, it sounds like she told you they couldn't meet your medical needs. No HIPAA violation there. Then you asked why, while standing in the waiting room. She explained. Since the reasons were given in answer to your questions, I don't think a HIPAA violation occurred there either. She was not required to speak privately unless she wished to discuss your medical file, but it seems that you were the one who continued the conversation. While it is a violation to discuss a patient's medical information in a crowded waiting room, I think the fact that you pursued the conversation suggests an implicit consent to it.

    If I'm wrong about the sequence of events, or if you would like to file a complaint anyway, follow the instructions on the link below. Please know that your complaint will not necessarily result in the office manager's dismissal, nor are you likely to know if any sanctions occur.

    http://www.hipaa.ihs.gov/index.cfm?module=faq
     
  11. annieoc

    annieoc Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for your information and opinion. I was told by the NP that had worked there that it was definitely a violation. She has been in health care for many years and works ER at a large hospital...head nurse. I'm still hurt and furious that a little old "witch" could suffer no consequences for her behavior as I did ask to speak privately. Thanks again!
     

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