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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118787
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My daughter was fired paa law. her father was a patient at a

Customer Question

My daughter was fired for violating Hipaa law. her father was a patient at a hospiital where ahe worked and subsequently transferred to another hospital.
She called the first hospital and requested a nurse friend not connected to her fathers care access the computer and print some lab results that the second hospital was waiting On and had not received...
Her father she believed was experiencing a MI and was transferred to the second hospital
The second hospital eventually received the lab results but not from the nurse friend. My daughter was fired as was her friend. Daughter had discusse this issue with her boss at first hospital and boss reported her for Hipaa violation and was fired. Daughter always took care of speaking with drs, always was fathers advocate on two prior heart attacks. She responded to first hospital not getting lab results in a timely manner to second hospital and called her friend. No intent to hurt anyone. Was this a fireable offense? She also accessed hospital computer system to check on labs.
The patient's advocates office called and I as the patients wife spoke to her. She asked me iif any problems with my husbands hospitlization. I replied there was a problem with getting the labs to the second hospital. She never asked if I was his medical power of attorney. So she seemed to have violated Hipaa laws herself by talking to me once the investigation started with my daughter. My daughters boss called to ask how her father was and they got into a discussion about the labs and boss realized that labs were printed . Boss reported to risk management and HR. Subsquently daughter was nurse of the quarter and her friend was fhe nurse of.the year. Both excellent nurses......Is firing justified?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years 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.
Did your daughter have a healthcare power of attorney for her father or did she have a signed HIPAA release from him prior to accessing the information or asking for it to be accessed?
Was the information actually accessed?
Did she have a contract for employment or was she an at will employee?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No Hipaa form no power of attorney. At will..information was printed but not sent or used.
By that time info had been received by the second hospital.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Her father always gave permission to speak about his health as she knew the doctors treating him. Worked with them. She understood the language.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If there was no written HIPAA form giving her approval to access the information, she did indeed violate HIPAA. Medical providers must be very cautious about HIPAA and one single violation can cost the provider up to $10,000 in fines. Thus, it is something that is taken very seriously, even though she is his child and she has had permission to speak about his health as you stated. If there was no written HIPAA release, what she did was a violation of HIPAA I am afraid.
Now, what your husband can do after the fact to try to help is write out a HIPAA consent and date it back to before the hospital visit (a new one must be issued every year). Although this would not help get her job back, it will mitigate the matter for future employers and also can be used to file for unemployment and argue that while there may have been a violation, she did have consent ultimately and as such it was not a major violation (this works with some hearing examiners and it does not work with others, so it depends on who hears her appeal).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can this affect her license in Md...such z. Emotional night at the hospital. Problem too with first hospital not sending lab report when requested and doctors
suspected he may have a heart attack in the ambulance. First hospital may have
sent him out to second hospital with active heart attack. Emotions no intent to harm, just the love for her profit very sad. 15years on the job....any other advice....Do. Nurses ever get their jobs back? Thank you. No more questions
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, if the hospital reports it to the nursing board, it could result in a reprimand at the least. The problem with the hospital taking time to send the results is separate from this and your daughter could have simply contacted the person who was supposed to send them.
If she explains this to future employers, yes, they do eventually get someone to hire them, but no lying to you it would be tough in the beginning for her getting hired again and she needs to really push the mitigating factors as her justification.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I know. An error in judgement....thank you
Signing off...
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
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