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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 17527
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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If I am being treated by a Neurologist and my Primary Care

Customer Question

If I am being treated for Neuropathy by a Neurologist and my Primary Care Doctor and was also being helped at home by the local DSS county of New Hanover Social Service worker and the nurses she brought in to help me with Physical Therapy exercises and they claim that I fell too much, which is not true, they dismissed me from the in home SAIH program which also included extra income to help pay my living expenses, the young Social Servide worker decided that I fell too much and did not need to be on that program. She terminated me from the program, but the worst psrt is that they stopped my extra income for living expenses that I had been receiving since 2013. They have put me in a bind by contacting my local PCP and he lied to them and from what they told me I needed to be in assisted living home, and also said my PCP said the same thing. I am doing great now and do not need to be in assisted living home. When I first started seeng my new Social Worker, I was under the influence of a lot ot Narcotics which were prescribed by my PCP. I am now only on 10 mg Percosets (4 per day) I feel so much better and am not stumbling around in a daze and need to get back on the SAIH program. Did they break the Federal Law by looking at my medical records and talking with my doctor without asking my permission?? I need all the help I can get now. Is it possible to Sue DSS for breaking the HIPAA law without getting my permission to contadct my doctor or checking my records without me knowing about it?? Thanks.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 months ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

In what way did they look at your medical records?

Did they have access to the records beyond the discussion with your doctor?

In what way did your doctor lie to them?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 months ago.

I had asked for some further information and have not heard back, however, I can relay some information about HIPAA.

First of all, if there is a violation of HIPAA, it would be by your doctor. The requirements for HIPAA are placed on the healthcare practitioner that maintains the medical records. Anybody can call the doctor or run into the doctor at a store and ask about confidential information, but it is the responsibility of the doctor to not divulge the information if it is not allowed under HIPAA.

If the Social Service worker was providing treatment, then sharing the confidential information is allowed under HIPAA. HIPAA states that the information in the medical record can be shared with any healthcare practitioners that are providing treatment to the patient. This use of confidential information does not require authorization for each use of information, although the fact that the information may be shared should have been told to the patient in a Notice of Privacy Practices. On the other hand, if the Social Service worker was not providing treatment, then the doctor should not have shared information in the medical record without authorization from the patient.

If the doctor shared information inappropriately, then you may have a claim against the doctor. about a HIPAA violation. The only way that you would have a claim against the Social Services worker would be if they were dishonest in the process of getting access to the medical record, but that would usually be brought under state law, rather than under HIPAA. In addition, if the doctor relayed false information to the Social Services worker, then there may be a claim against your doctor about a deviation from standard of care.

If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.