It was founded that 2 co workers went into my medical chart after it was closed. I originally called the complinace line at work Dec 12, 2011. Everytime I called to follow up, I was told there was no response from my employer. I ended up calling a Fraud and privacy line at work April 12,2012 and they stated they would let HR get involved and that indeed it had be founded. They also said I could get in trouble since my personal physican verified it. I was also told that they would be handling this situation the following week re: the 2 nosey workers. As far as I can tell, nothing was done about this. In orientation we were told you would be fired for accessing any patients chart/family/own/ or co-workers charts if violation of Hippa laws were broken. I am not happy about the fact the two are at the same clinic since I know their "buddies" will make my life there hard. At what point will I have an idea that Hr did handle this and if any punishment was done. As of now, I feel like I am the liar since nothing was done about this and it indeed is a proven fact. One of the nurses is best friends with the MOA and manager of this facility and I know she will be protected some how. Should I also file a report with Hippa?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Colorado
called compliance line at work filed a complaint and spoke with the privacy and fraud dept who said it was indeed founded.
Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer!I am sorry to learn of these circumstances. Please clarify: do you work in a medical office?
Yes. I was seen that day as a patient ( against my wishes) my supervisor would not let me leave and see an eye doctor since we were short staffed. She went on telling me I would get a point on my record if I left. Another MD heard and said "I'll take a look at it, besides I need practice with looking in eyes." ( I thought we were just looking at it for fun not an office visit since other workers were also looking under the fluroscent light at my eye) I did scratch the cornea. Then my supervisior about an hr later made a big stink how I needed to go sign in as a walk in patient since I was seen. I told her that I didn't want to sign since I didn't want anyone in my chart. I was upset and went downstairs near the front check in desk. I called my husband since I was so upset, just then my supervisior came down stairs and said to me you need to sign in now and she told the woman behind the desk " to arrive" me so than no one would need to be in my chart. ( why couldn't I have signed in at the end of the day, to have the MD document) When I returned to my desk, I told my coworker that I couldn't believe my supervisor walked me to the front desk and I said " she is not my mother." I asked the MD to hurry and close my chart. He did close it at 1030 am at least 1.5 hrs later. The same coworker went into my chart at 345pm and another co worker went into it at 215. Everyone know not to go into my chart since I was so mad that I was seen there. This primary care doctor after he saw it said " call the eye doctor- I'm not sure how to handle cornea scratches". I still ended up paying for another office visit and had to leave in the middle of work 2 days later. I was actually treated for my eye for 2 mos after!
Thank you. There are a couple of parts to your answer.As to your question "At what point will I have an idea that Hr did handle this and if any punishment was done." the answer is: never. This is because the employer has no legal obligation to follow up with you.If you wish to file a HIPAA complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you may do so at this link.Separately, you may be able to sue to the co-workers under state law for invasion of privacy. You can meet with a local attorney to review your options in greater in depth on that issue (JustAnswer is a public forum and the JA professionals do not have attorney-client relationships).It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. It is my goal that you are satisfied. No expert can promise you an answer that is favorable to your circumstances. But I will do my very best to explain the legal principles that are related to the facts you’ve described so that you can better understand the “why” of things. Please let me know if there is anything else I can provide to give you excellent service!"
Can I sue my employer? Can I still work there? If I do choose to sue, Would I be black balled from working in another local hospital? Could this take years to resolve? How long would I have to sue? Do I have to do it with in 5 yrs or less? Should I still file a complaint with Hippa?
The federal HIPAA law does not give a person a right to sue for violation of HIPAA. For that reason, you cannot sue the employer. Only the federal Department of Health and Human Services can enforce HIPAA.Yes, lawsuits can take years to resolve.Yes, you can file a HIPAA complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services if you wish. Your employer will know that you did it.I hope this helps to clarify things.
I really had no intentions of suing, it sounds very expensive and a long process. I just don't want to get "hazed" at work and then fired for something. I feel like I am already a target. I do not feel I should have to look for another job. I think the other girls should.
As an expert in your field, Would you recommend I just lay low at work or sue? any recommendations as to how you would handle a situation like this if it were you?
I would follow-up with the powers that be on the status of the HIPAA violation/investigation.If co-workers leave me alone, I'd leave it alone.
How many days do I have to file for this? If the incident occured Aug 27, 2011 but I didn't find out until December 12, 2011 and the company actually knew at HR this April when would the dead line be over?
It should be done ASAP. There really is no official deadline.
Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
Thank you! You are great and gave me some piece of mind!
You are most welcome. Enjoy your weekend!
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