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Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33524
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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I would like to know if there is a law protecting Healthcare

Customer Question

I would like to know if there is a law protecting Healthcare Workers for being terminated for HIPAA Violation? my example is: Worked at same Company for 20 years-
I happen to be in Billing/Coding ALSO I am a Power Of Attorney for an individual who is in prison for 10 plus years andcould not communicate with one of our sister clinics regarding a Financial Application he filled out. I was communicating with our sister clinic - what I did was pull up his account to give the representative the account number- I did not access ANY of his medical records- I simply gave account number to representative on other line (again our sister clinic who we work very close with- they handle Facility billing we handle Physician billing- often times a bill would be generated to that patient from both entities). I was terminated because they are stating HIPAA violation- Keep in mind I had full permission to access that account- PRIOR to me being his POA. Where are my protected rights as a healthcare worker? seems petty to me- (my company file was clean as a whistle prior to this "violation")
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Before we begin, a bit more detail would be helpful please.

Did you have a written employment contract covering a specific period of time and requiring cause for dismissal?

Do you have any reason to believe you were treated differently due to your race, religion, age, gender, etc.?

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Are you there?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not sure about a written employment contract? I know my Department just started having employees sign a HIPAA Compliance form saying basically you know all rules/regulations regarding HIPAA- but to me its common sense- (I would never say "hey jenny, Martha was in the clinic for an STD test"I was treated with disrespect which does not cover under "Discrimination" this is where I get frustrated- there is no law in place for my kind of situation- My supervisor 2 weeks prior to my final day stated in a company Management Meeting that "she is concerned about me (keep in mind she never ever brought this to my attention) I am either Anorexic, Belmic or on drugs. When I confronted her Manager - they gave me the rest of the day off company paid. When I informed them I was hiring an attorney for defamation of character- I was terminated a week later. My union does NOTHING to help- nothing.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

Well, if you are a member of the union in a union job then you do have an employment contract through the union and you can only be terminated for cause or some reason which is compliant with the terms of the contract.

Unfortunately, though, the HIPAA violation is valid grounds for termination, but they would have to follow their own policy or they would be in breach.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not necessarily a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not judging you :) I appreciate your honest answer.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome. If you have no further questions, and have not yet done so, please remember to leave a favorable rating (Excellent or Good) so that I am credited for assisting you. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.