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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11063
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I have a hipaa question regarding my employer having a friend

Customer Question

I have a hipaa question regarding my employer having a friend 'check' on me while I was hospitalized. Information regarding me was disclosed to a IV nurse and discussed with my employer without my consent. The employer had already received doctors diagnosis as requested but the director found it necessary to have me investigated
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Hello and welcome. I am very sorry to hear about this unauthorized disclosure. What exactly is your question? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My question is that when I returned to work after a hospitalization my director disclosed to me that she had a 'friend' who worked at the hospital check in on me--this revealed to me that the agency's director contacted and disclosed my health issue with a hospital employee. I was not informed or gave consent, especially after sending them confirmation of my stay
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
am I going to receive an answer?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. I assume your question is what legal recourse you would have given these facts. That being your question, the hospital appears to have very clearly committed a HIPAA violation by revealing any medical information to your employer by way of your employer's "friend." HIPAA does not provide for a private cause of action, meaning you cannot sue to recover financial compensation if your HIPAA rights are violated. Your sole recourse for a HIPAA violation is to report the matter to the Dept. of Health and Human Services here. The DHH will investigate and penalize the hospital if it finds that a violation occurred. This is very serious matter for the hospital and the hospital employee who reported your information. As for remedies against your employer, the Americans With Disabilities Act requires employers to take reasonable measures to ensure the confidentiality of any medical information obtained from an employee in connection with a pre-employment medical exam. However, it would not see that the information your employer had about your health condition was obtained in connection with a pre-employment exam. If it wasn't, then there is no law that would prohibit an employer from divulging health information about you to third parties. HIPAA does not apply to employers, it only applies to health insurance companies, clearing houses and medical providers. So, you would not typically have any remedies against your employer arising from what you describe. 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.If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.* Disclaimer *Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I cant believe that hipaa doesn't protect unconsented disclosure
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
It does, but HIPAA only applies to the actions of health insurance companies, healthcare clearing houses and medical providers. (See here) I truly wish I could tell you otherwise, but I can only explain the existing law. Please let me know if there is anything else I can clarify.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Was there anything else I can do to assist you?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
If you do not require any further assistance, I would be very grateful if you would take a moment to positively rate my service. This is the only way that I am paid for my time and so is very much appreciated. Kind regards, Patrick

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