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I am an RN Case Manager in a state supported living center

in Texas which is a...
I am an RN Case Manager in a state supported living center in Texas which is a residential facilty for individuals with mental health & mental retardation. We have an individual who is being followed by a disability rights advocate. The disability right advocate frequently shows up unannounced into the homes, does not knock, often hides her badge & ask direct care staff questions regarding other individuals living in the home especillally questions to new staff. Unfortunatly direct care staff have at best have high school degress & often answer questions incorrectly or without true accuracy in regards XXXXX XXXXX status. I have asked to be notified when she arrives on campus so that I can be present in the homes to protect other individuals privacy rights as well as answer the questions she has but administration will not comply with my request. Recently in a meeting for the client she covers she began asking questions regarding another individual that lives in the home, my response was "I could not discuss other individuals with her related to Hippa violations especially in a meeting regarding another individual" Though I understand her role & do respecte the need for advocacy for those that cannot advocate for themselves, I feel she is harrasing, intrusive & abusive in regards XXXXX XXXXX role. She sent a letter in regards XXXXX XXXXX response basically letting me know she had a right to anything & everything for any individual. Do HIPPA laws apply to advocacy representatives & what about in the instance of individuals who have legal guardians, do we as professional staff not have the right to be notified of her presence on campus to protect HIPPA & general privacy of other other individuals who's legal guardians have clearly stated they do not want this person speaking to their family member:? How do HIPPA laws apply to disability advocates & where can I find clear guidlines for the rules they must follow.
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
4/27/2013
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I am sorry, I am a bit unclear, was she asking about personal and confidential information about a different patient when the other patient was there to listen to the questions?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


yes

Angela,

Then this 'medical rights advocate' is simply nuts. As a provider herself, she is as governed under HIPAA as you are. That means that she cannot speak about other medical patients or bring up information that can be easily identifiable in front of third parties. The other patient has no legal right to listen about the care and needs of someone else, especially since that other person never consented. If she does not understand HIPAA, consider contacting her superior and setting them straight. Or you can simply contact the US Dept of Health and Human Services and report the violation to them. This advocate has no right bring up a patient's history in front of an another patient in the same way I cannot discuss private and confidential details with one client that pertain to a different client.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


I do strongly agree with your response, unfortunalty the state facility that I work for very strongly bows down to her known underhanded, unethical tactics & demand that we give her anything she wants even so far as creating documents and outling care that have not been approved by the state. I do not want to lose my job, state retirment & benefits but I also will not violate HIPPA laws as well as I also am an advocate my my individuals. I am in quite a conundrum as to what to do & how to get administration to understand that yes we need to work with her but she also needs to respect our positions & other individuals rights.

Thank you for your follow-up, Angela.

Hmm, that is less a legal question and more of a human resources concern. If you are strongly adamant about her behavior (and I happen to agree with you), you can always file an anonymous complaint. You can also potentially file a grievance against your own facility for failing to properly protect the patients' rights. But beyond that I really cannot provide you with more insight, I am sorry about that.

Good luck.

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