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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33747
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I have written a book of very short stories, poems,

Customer Question

I have written a book of very short stories, poems, silhouettes and reflections about my experiences, and patients I have met and cared for over the past 12 years as a hospice nurse. I made up names or initials for the characters to preserve their actual identity. Today someone said I may still be violating HIPPA by describing someone by their personal hobby or remembered trait. Is that something I need to worry about?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do I have to include in my book to state that no one's real name has been used, so I don't get in trouble with violating the privacy act?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

Yes, likely so.

HIPAA forbids you describing anything about a patient, their ailment, their treatment, etc. without a release. The law doesn't specifically state that to be in violation the information must also contain their name.

You would have to have a statement that did more than just state no one's real name was used. We aren't allowed to give you specific language or draft documents for you, so you'd have to get a local lawyer or a contract lawyer to draft the actual language but essentially you would have to state that you didn't take anything from real patients and you would want the statement to track the language of HIPAA.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered.