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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 32577
Experience:  Employment Law Expert
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I went to a gyno's office normal visit but had questions

Customer Question

Hi,
I went to a gyno's office for a normal visit but had questions about future fertility. He sent me off site for testing, called me on a weekend day to discuss the results but I missed his call. I called him back several times until his secretary finally said, well you have fibroids, surely you must've had some idea because you had symptoms; that's why you wanted the ultrasound, right? (I'm paraphrasing). I was freaked out and had to stew all weekend because he wasn't in on both Sunday or Monday. I told her I needed to know the details of my issue and asked if she personally seen my chart, she said no, I asked if he could call me first thing Tuesday, she made me his first appointment instead. I told the dr. that i felt violated to be given medical information from someone not equipped to educate me about my issue and who hadn't actually seen my chart. Onward, he told me I had a really small fibroid in a non-threatening area so nothing to do but observe to see if it grows or moves. Fast forward to today, I was following up on an invoice from his office that charged me for that second "visit". I disputed whether or not it was a visit and the office manager, said "you came in because you had extensive medical issues to discuss". I asked if she knew me, she said no. I told her that it was reckless of her to make such a statement when by her own admission, she did not know me. Had she, she would know that my issue did not rise to the level of an extensive medical issue. Is it a HIPPA violation for medical office staff to discuss your medical issues or attempt to discuss with patients? Thanks, Johanne
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

Your question was: Is it a HIPPA violation for medical office staff to discuss your medical issues or attempt to discuss with patients?

The answer, generally, is no, it is not a violation of HIPAA for a member of the staff to discuss your medical issues with you. It would normally be a HIPAA violation for them to discuss your issues with another patient or to discuss your medical issues with anyone not specifically authorized to receive the information but it isn't to discuss it with you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
this was not an employment law question
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 11 months ago.

I understand. I'm not sure why it says Employment Law. It was in the General Law section. The answer is the same though.