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Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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I was suspended for five days on a charge of inappropriately

Resolved Question:

I was suspended for five days on a charge of inappropriately accessing Radiology reports for my mother-in-law, for whom I am conservator. I work at the hospital where she was admitted as a pacs administrator. This coincidentally happened two weeks after I emailed a complaint to our nursing and case management about their lack of consulting me about her health care, as her conservator. This was her third admission that I had to file complaints, and I believe I was retaliated against because of this
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

You believe you were retaliated against because you complained about management's failure to consult with you?

Is there a policy that would prevent you from accessing her records as an employee?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hipaa regulations state that no employee can access phi inappropriately. As her conservator, I have legal right to the info, I asked the medical records dept. if I could access the info, but they tell me now that even so, I was supposed to make a written request for it through their dept. No one ever told me that before.
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
I see.

Even though it may not constitute a violation of HIPAA since you had authorization to access the records, medical providers typically have a procedure to access such records that still must be followed, even where you have authorization.

Following these procedures is usually critical so the provider maintains control over the confidentiality of the records.

So if you did not follow the normaly procedures for accessing the records, the employer would have a basis for terminating or otherwise disciplining you and that violation would thwart any claim of retaliation you might bring.

They would essentially be able to explain the disciplinary action based on the violation of policy rather than retaliation.

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