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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 118776
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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A Nurse Practitioner (NP) employed by the Department of

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A Nurse Practitioner (NP) employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Radiation Oncology Department at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, 1201 Broad Rock Blvd, Richmond, VA 23249. She currently holds an active Virginia nursing license. Her license number is(###) ###-#### I dated XX from April 15, 2015 to May 30, 2016. During this relationship, Ms. XXXX became intimately familiar with my medical history, the details of my VA disability claims and rating, and the difficulties I encountered when dealing with the VA Medical Center, Hampton. Ms. XX informed me that she had at one time worked at the VA Medical Center, Hampton but had left the hospital due to incident where she had been sexually assaulted by a Doctor employed by that facility. On more than a dozen occasions during our relationship, Ms. XX tried to convince me to transfer to the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, Richmond where she worked. She argued that I would receive better and more timely care from Hunter Holmes; plus she would be able to influence the scheduling of appointments and the medical assessments provided by the hospital staff. Ms. XX knew all of the details of my VA disability rating and actually read all of the correspondence received by me from the VA; including the last increase in disability rating from 80% to 90%. She assured me that she could get me to 100% so that I could realize all of the benefits associated with being 100% disabled; including the pay, free dental, and other state of Virginia privileges, free hunting and fishing for life, reduced property taxes, and handicap parking. She specifically mentioned that I should claim Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as being the best way for me to get my disability rating to 100%. In the last six months of our relationship Ms. XX repeatedly volunteered to assist me in filling out the VA disability claims for PTSD. She said she knew all of the right words and phrases to include in the claim that would convince claims processors and practitioners that I suffered from PTSD. I told her I did not suffer from PTSD and would not be filing a claim. She became obsessed and mentioned it every time we met and would tell me, “You have PTSD.” At times I became irritated with her constant declarative statements on the topic and told her, “Stop saying I have PTSD, I don’t have it.” That didn’t stop her. I have been to both private and VA medical facilities and met with a variety of practitioners. I have never been diagnosed with PTSD nor have I ever been referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist for demonstrating the symptoms or complaining of PTSD. It appears that Ms. XX, an NP in Radiation Oncology knows better than the rest of the trained medical professionals. I know I do not have PTSD. Ms. XX’s repeated attempts to convince me to file a fraudulent claim for disability is in violation of federal law and also brings into question her ethics and integrity. I am forwarding this complaint to the Office of the Inspector (OIG) since the Inspector General Act authorizes the OIG to receive and investigate complaints or information concerning the possible existence of an activity constituting a violation of law, rule, or regulation or an abuse of authority. I believe Ms. XX’s actions are a violation of law and VA regulations, walk a very fine line relative to a possible abuse of her position and authority, and are absolutely an ethics violation. Under the federal False Claims Act and the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act, false claims may include “knowingly submitting false or fraudulent claims to the government for payment or making or using a false record or statement in connection with the submission of such claims”. In addition to willful and intentional acts of fraud, individuals and organizations can be penalized for submitting or causing the submission of claims in deliberate ignorance or reckless disregard for the truth. Ms. XX is not qualified to conduct a proper assessment of trauma exposure and PTSD and she never attempted to accomplish an assessment using validated measures as described on the National Center for PTSD website. Even if she had, these measures are intended for use by qualified mental health professionals and researchers not an NP in Radiation Oncology. In July 2016, Ms. XX and I were no longer seeing one another. She filed charges against me in York County, VA citing fear for her life because I had PTSD and owned guns. I was subsequently arrested on a misdemeanor charge. The fact that Ms. XX used PTSD, something I do not have, as one of the principal reasons to support her claim of “fear for her life” and to convince local law enforcement officials her fear was real is unconscionable. It also further fuels public perception that veterans diagnosed with PTSD are mentally unbalanced, unpredictable, and a pose a risk or threat to public safety. There is a stigma associated with PTSD and I was wrongly painted with that brush
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
What is your question for us regarding this matter?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Are her actions a violation of law? HIPAA? Is there a civil liabiiity? Can she be sued or charged for her actions?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
As a healthcare worker at a facility, if she obtained the information from your medical records and not from you from your personal conversations, it could be a violation of HIPAA. HIPAA applies only to healthcare workers and healthcare insurers, it would not apply if she obtained information from you during a personal relationship and not in a healthcare relationship. Also, HIPAA does not have a right to a personal suit, you have to file a complaint with the US Department of Health and Human Services and they have the sole enforcement authority under HIPAA.
If she did obtain your healthcare information from actually treating you in a medical facility and from your medical records, you can file the complaint with USDHHS and then you can sue under state law for breach of the confidentiality of medical records under state law and not HIPAA.
If she made false claims against you, then you could sue her for malicious prosecution as well for having you arrested, but before you could do that you would have to first get cleared of the criminal charges in the court as it is only something you can sue over if you can prove her complaint that led to the criminal charges was false and you were cleared of those charges and if you cannot do that then you cannot sue.
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