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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102379
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I believe that my Hippa rights have been violated by

Customer Question

I believe that my Hippa rights have been violated by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston . I know that my medical records privacy has been violated, and have already contacted the OCR office twice. I left messages both times and have received no response. I am also pursuing against one of the largest Medical Institutions in my area. Please contact me if you are able to assist or help me in anyway .
Thank you,
Melissa ******
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Please tell me what has happened and I can answer whether or not any HIPAA or state laws may have been violated.

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
While on personal unpaid medical leave of absence due to back surgery, I was required to have a 5 person phone conference per HR department that included myself, injury management person, human resources rep, Nurse Manager, and my Assistant Nurse Manager. I was told I must participate and was asked personal questions regarding my medical condition in front of my Managers. According to medical leave of absence policy and procedures at UTMB, management has no right to know why you are off on medical leave including your medical condition, only leave management department is to handle any questions regarding me, but I only am required to submit a request for continued medical leave of absence with date of last follow up with treating physician and next scheduled follow up. I know that my Hippa rights have been violated including a letter written from my Assistant Nurse Manager that stated " As discussed with my provider." No one had my authorization to speak to any of my providers. Please help me if you can. I already contacted OCR twice and left messages with no response yet. Thank you in advance.
Melissa ********
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Did you supply your employer with a note from your physician for the required extended leave before this conference?

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello! Just touching base to see if you still needed an answer and if you could reply to my query. Thanks!
The query was: "Thank you. Did you supply your employer with a note from your physician for the required extended leave before this conference?"
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I have literally been jumping through hoops like a circus animal for my place of employment.
Expert:  Ely replied 12 months ago.
Thank you.
Actually, this sounds like a Family Medical Leave Act issue (FMLA).
Once an employee provides "complete and sufficient" certification signed by the physician, the employer "may not request additional information from the health care provider." 29 C.F.R. § 825.307(a). See Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. v. Antti.
It would not be a stretch to state that the same applies to asking that of the employer, unless it is for recertification for FMLA.
Even though the internal policy limits the knowledge of your medical matters, the practical application of FMLA allows management to share the medical information, albeit reasonably. In other words, management and supervisors can find out information about your FMLA issues, since they work directly with you. Even though this violated the company's internal policy, this in itself is not a violation of HIPAA. However, incessant questioning and over-requirements to qualify for extended leave under FMLA is arguably a violation of FMLA.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.
Expert:  Ely replied 12 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!