How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Loren Your Own Question
Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34497
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Loren is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a disgruntled bookeeper. She is fraudulently claiming

Customer Question

I have a disgruntled bookeeper. She is fraudulently claiming to be an employee of mine and trying to coerce me into buying past unemployment insurance and past
workm comp. I am a psychologist who sees patients.
She was ALWAYS an independent contractor. We can prove this. My lawyer and I are
having a hearing with the admin law judge to contest this. DOL declared she won after
hearing NONE of our side.
Now I have a patient who needs the dates of his visits for 2015 and 2014 when she was my bookeeper. These are on her computer. He can get medicare reimbursement for these visits. She is REFUSING TO GIVE MY PATIENT the dates of his visits. It would take one second to push a button on her computer and generate the dates of service.
She refused. i spoke to medicare and the lady said 'this is is a violation of
HIPPA......the data belongs to the patient, not to the bookeeper nor even the doctor
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How can I find out when my answer is ready????
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

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

Do you own the computer on which the information is kept? Is it in your possession?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She was an independent contractor.
She has her own computer . She picked up info here and took it home to work on it.
To bill my patients. We wanted to get a zip drive to suck my patient data into my own possession.
This computer is in her home
It is her computer.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

There are numerous HIPAA violations here. You have violated HIPAA by not securing patient information and not maintaining it under your control.

The bookkeeper has misappropriated confidential patient information and must return it to you.

You can sue her for breach of contract and misappropriation of your property.

Additionally, you can file a complaint with the Dept of HHS for her violation of HIPAA. Be aware, though, that you have some exposure too for failing to maintain the records properly. For that reason, you will want to do this (filing a complaint with HHS) with representation of counsel.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She was always an independent contractor. She got 1099s.....
She had to be to keep getting her "free money" from SS disability.
After she stopped working for me, she got the sudden realization that she had had a good deal.
Her boyfriend said "Hey why not go for Unemployment insurance" she said great.
She put 10 LIES to dept of labor. All lies but dOL declared she wOn without ever hearing a peep of my side of the story.
Most Labor lawyers said "cave will ruin a year of your life to defend yourself and you'lll never win. The Dept of labor always lets the worker win. Not the boss. She wined and dined with me. She got her 1099s......Suddenly after she quit she claimed to be an employee and wants me to BACK PURCHASE many years of Unempl insurance: for about 20 or more thousand dollars. We are fighting this bescause I cannot assist her in doing insurance fraud. Meantime my patients need the data.They need the list of their visits for various years for tax deductions. One is over 65 and if she would give us the list of his visits ( one press of her computer at home) he could get medicare reimbursement. I spoke to medicare and the lady said "she is stealing from you" "this is a hippa violation" The patient owns the records. All we need is the dates of service. The longer she stalls the less likely medicare will pay. The dates will be "submitted too late"
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

You can present the written evidence of her fraudulent claims when you appeal. She sounds like she is a nightmare. The appeal process should take a closer look at what you present.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. She is a confidential assistant. She signed a confidentiality report. Alll psychologists have bookeepers who send out their invoices and fill in insurance forms. NO Psychologist does this themselves. She was my girl friday for 14 yeaers.She did a lot besides bookeeping. My patients all knew she helped me because she said "send your check to ....then she listed the name of her independent business and gave her home address. If they had quesitons about bills they happily called her. This is no differnt than my cardiologists office: he does not write his own bills to me nor fill out insurance forms.
How am I in violation. YES SHE IS A NIGHTMARE. She morphed to be an indep contrcctor to keep her SS disability and then when she stopped with me she morphed into claiming she is an employee and I owe back taxes for her and also to purchase about 7 years back unemployment insurance. Right now it is my PATIENT that she is hurting by refusal to give the records. I have the visits in old apt books but it would take me months to find my old week at a glance books and see what visits. Plus this patiaent is a priest. I never made him pay me. I saw him free. Now he changed provinces and the new
province WILL PAY for three yeaers of visits with me. Depending on when we get the info, medicare will reimburse him and we help with the medicare forms. Do you know any doctor who pens his own invoices and fills out his own insurance forms?
How can you accuse me of doing something HIPPA wrong by having a billing assistant. I am a Harvard educated Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst and have been in practice for over 35 years. I am no novice. She signed a confidentialty agreement and is no different that a lady sitting at a check in desk when you go see your opthamologist. She is just not physically there. She picked up the visits, went home, wrote the bills with payment sent to her business and her home address. She is just PUNISHING ME AND TORTURING ME (at the expense of my patient) by refusing to generate the dates.
the patient WANTS THE DATES. It is one punch of her computer.. Can you send me this converstation in one piece so I can print it and give it to a lawyer who is helping. Who also thinks she is a nighmare. as to employee status I am rebutting during this appeal. What do you say the admin law judge "should take a closer look at??" I don't trust anyone in this world anymore: greed, greeed and no conscience. wHO WANTS TO BE A DOCTOR ANYMORE> My patients love me. my patients were happy to have her bill them and submit insurance. It was all sweetsie till she decided to defraud me by
claiming to be an employee and to punish me by refusing a simple request for the dates of service.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
did you disconnect me????????
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

It is a very difficult situation when a trusted employee goes "rogue".

I feel better about your exposure from what you have explained, but you may still want to avail your self of the HIPAA safe harbor regulation and make a report.

I can not email from the site, but you can try to copy and paste the page into an email and send it to yourself.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Otherwise, contact customer care and they will help you print out the thread.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please..I thought you were gone......yes she went rogue...good wordWhat is the HIPPAA safe harbor regulation...never heard of it.
There is NO WAY I VIOLATED HIPPA BY HAVING A CONFIDENTIAL BILLING SECRETARY my patients KNEW about and often KNEW. They discussed bills and insurance plans. Other doctors use billing services....way out of state. MASS VOLUME BILLINGS. Those companies would have to be HIPPA Violations.......Do YOU HAVE A DOCTOR WHO WRITES his own bills , in pen, quill pen, invisible ink???? I did nothing wrong here. What is the HIPAA safe harbor regulation?????
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't feel you listened to me
I feel you jumped the gun and shot from the hip
YOur idea that it is a violation to have a confidential secretary is archaic.
I will never use this service again.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

If you have lost control of patient records you can make a voluntary report.

I am not faulting you for having a secretary. The problem is that now there is a loss of patient records. That is the problem.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

As the one who gave the records to her, you bear a certain amount of liability under HIPAA.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Please do not blame me. I do not write the laws.

I am trying to work with you and help you.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

I assure you that I am not "shooting from the hip?. Would you prefer I opt out so another expert can assist you?