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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11031
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I spoke with a company that worked, or was/is a part of

Customer Question

I spoke with a company that worked for Anthem, or was/is a part of Anthem BlueCross. They are an employee assistance program. They say in their pamphlet that no one will know you've called EAP unless you give them permission is writing.* The little asterisk has some small print at the bottom that says," * In accordance with federal and state law, and professional ethical standards."
After speaking with EAP, low and behold if they didn't contact the company I work for. The next day I was taken the office to speak with HR. They were asking me, "How I was" "What can we do for you?" When asked how they had found out the reply was, "Oh a little bird told me." And, "Heard it on the wind."
The conversation I had with EAP was private, and so I spoke to them about things I wouldn't talk about to others. They referred me to a counselor. But, my problem with this is that now it makes me uncomfortable to be around my manager and the HR staff. They know the issue I spoke about to the EAP rep. Isn't this some sort of HIPAA violation? If I wanted my problem broadcast, then I would have just had a shirt made.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

It would have indeed constituted a HIPAA violation for a representative of the health insurance company to contact your employer about your medical treatment. Your remedy if that has occurred is to file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services, which you can do here. The DHHS will investigate and impose a penalty if they find that a violation has occurred. Unfortunately, there is no private cause of action for HIPAA violations, which means that you cannot sue for money damages as a result of your HIPAA rights being violated. So, a complaint to DHHS would typically be the extent of your legal remedies.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Hello again,

I just wanted to followup with you to make sure that you did not have any further questions or concerns. For some unknown reason, the experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get credit for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not yet received either. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the site administrator.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.

Very best wishes.