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Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1066
Experience:  Partner at Kent Law Group, LLC
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I have been falsely accused of violating a Hippa regulation

Customer Question

i have been falsely accused of violating a Hippa regulation and have been fired- I am a nurse..what else will happen to me
JA: OK. The Employment Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Employment Lawyer can help you best. Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: I was an RN working in an intake department at a psychiatic hospital.. my family member needed care and I asked a coworker to help with the turn the coworker asked me to help with her family member who needed care.. we were both fired because they were our famiy members and the investigator at my work place said that neither of us had any business accessing the info that we did
JA: Is there anything else the Employment Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: i worked there for three years with no problems and have been an RN for 20 yrs without problems,,my coworker worked there for 13 yrs and she has been a nurse for 40 yrs without problems,, we think the investigator handled the situation poorly.. both of out family members received care at the hospital before-- so they would both be repeat customers-- a coworker who doesnt like me reported this as a malicious act
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Employment Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

I just want to make sure we're on the same page about one thing... were you aware that it is a violation of HIPAA to access information of a patient you are not working with? Your question states that you were "falsely accused" but in your question you state that you did access the information. So I'm not understanding why it's a false accusation...

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe that we each accessed information to help a potential patient that deserved intake services- each patient happened to be our family member- neither one of use understand why we had no business accessing thechart of potential patient- just because each was our family member
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
on a typical day i would access records for any number of patients- who may potentially come into the psychiatric hospital or may not come in- we help them decide if they should come in or not-- ie phone triage
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

Was that patient "your" patient? Were you asked to care for that patient? These are all questions that are used in the evaluation of whether there is a HIPAA violation. The fact that the two of you were accessing each other's family members is really problematic unless it was in line with your normal job responsibilities to do so.

Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

Does that mean you were asked to determine whether this patient should come in? Were you asked by the patient? By the hospital? I'm trying to determine how you ended up accessing this patient's chart b/c based on what you've described it was at the request of a family member who knew she would get "in trouble" for doing it herself.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my sister was asking me to help her- and i was trying to hook her up with services like I had done the same exact thing in 2014.. I asked my coworker to help her- because I specifically did not want to violate Hippa
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i felt like i was getting too entrenched in the situation to remain objective any longer... that is why I asked my coworker to take over the intake situation
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

Unless your sister consented to this person accessing her chart it would be a violation for her to do so. the only circumstances under which it would be okay for a person to access another person's chart is if that person is doing it in the course of her employment duties. Your friend did you a favor; she was not doing it as part of HER job. Your sister did not consent to it. Therefore it's a violation of HIPAA. If I told you anything else I would be lying to you and that wouldn't be fair to you. It sounds like you may not have understood the law, but a nurse of 30+ years certainly would and she clearly violated HIPAA by accessing the chart.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my sister gave verbal consent-- we never get written consent to do phone triage on people on any given day at my job
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

So that sounds like perhaps your friend is not violating HIPAA. But did her family member give consent as well?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
both potential patients gave verbal consent for their charts to be accessed
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

And the reasons for which you were accessing their charts - were they in line with your regular job duties?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we do this day in and day out with any given caller or family member that calls
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

If they both gave consent and it was in line with your normal job duties these patients need to corroborate that they gave consent. There's no HIPAA violation if both those conditions are met.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can I call you tomorrow - for more advice- someone needs me for something
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

That's a separate service. That would be fine.

Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. I wanted to check in with you to see if you have any questions, and to see how everything is going with you.

Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I noticed you have not yet submitted a rating and therefore it remains "Open" on my end. I was wondering if you need any additional information or need me to clarify anything first. I’d be happy to do so.