HIPAA Violation or no? And is it wrong of me to point out to employer?

  1. [FONT=lucida grande]
    • I have a question. My husband and I are CNA's and after 6 months of employment, the place you work for has to reimburse you for your license. In his case it was just over 900 dollars. He is oncall employee and for the first five months worked upwards of 40hr/week. but not required to work that much. as he is 'ON CALL" called on needs. the last month he didn't work anything b/c of school but was still employed. I put my two weeks notice in and he didn't. He never quit.when I put my 2 weeks notice in, they said he was still an employee and that was End of October. He hasn't worked a shift in quit sometime, however they continued to send him his emails updating him on pt conditions...b/c he was "still an employee" well we submitted his paperwork for reimburesment and they said no his six month date was nov. 7th and his end date was Oct. 5. No, his last date worked was Oct. 5...he is still employed as oncall...he never put in a 2 week notice and never got terminated. Anyways, I called and told the manager that 1 of two things is true. 1. He was still "no longer employeed" as of Oct 5 and they violated HIPAA law for 2 months by updating him on pt conditions everyday (Ie. who died, who's med changes, who was admitted to the hospital, who was a new admin) via email or 2. he WAS employeed, they did not violate HIPAA and he was employeeed until Nov. 11th and he recieves his reimbursement. I mean he was employeed or he wasn't, and as a CNA it is our job to report HIPAA violations, or we can get in trouble. Do you guys consider this wrong? Or am I right. I see it as black or white. He was employeed the entire time, and gets reimbursement. Or he wasn't but they violated HIPAA.

    [FONT=lucida grande]

  2. Visit lovecena profile page

    About lovecena

    Joined: Dec '12; Posts: 2
    Cena; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience


  3. by   T-Bird78
    If no termination notice was given by him or the facility then he's still employed. If they claim to have given him one then ask to see a copy of it and when he signed it. Verify with HR what they show for his last day. If it was October then HIPAA was violated, if it was November then they owe for the license reimbursement.

    What kind of license costs $900?
  4. by   sapphire18
    Per diem employees still need to work a certain amount of shifts per specified amount of time.
  5. by   WifeMotherRN1
    Is this something to pursue further??

    At my current facility, I had a very co dependent patient who is so focused on my personal life. I recently had surgery and while I was out the patient came in to have a visit with the MD I work with. This particular MD was asked by the patient why haven't I been at work and why was I missing so many days and the MD told him I had surgery and the exact type of surgery I had. When I returned to work, I was informed by the other staff members that the patient came up to the front desk and told everyone what this MD told him. I then starting receiving calls from the patient leaving messages that he was aware of the surgery I had and if I would have told him he could have sent me a card. Now I am livid and extremely upset, I then went to this MD and asked if she told the patient this, she states 'yes.' I then told her to never tell any patients my personal business especially this patient because he is so fascinated when I am at work or have scheduled days off. I then reported all this to my supervisor and the privacy officer at my facility. I was told by the privacy officer that he will open an investigation and the MD would be counseled. My supervisor end up sending me an email stating that my incident was not a HIPAA violation because the MD who told the patient my information, is not my treating doctor. She also states, "this should be a learning experience for me to not disclose my personal information." I was so upset that I emailed my supervisor back telling her that "I didn't tell everyone in the office, it was only told to a selected few, whom I told personally, and that no employee should ever disclose any personal information to patients, and regardless of, I feel that my privacy has been violated." Of course I did not get a response back, but I am wondering if I should let it be or pursue this harder?
  6. by   KelRN215
    To the OP, I suspect your answer is actually something like option 3: Your husband is still employed but per diem employees are not benefits eligible and/or he didn't work enough hours to qualify for this particular benefit. I don't think it's as black and white as you're seeing it.

    I have never heard of employer "having" to reimburse employees for licensing costs. An employer that does so is offering this benefit as a courtesy and employers can change these benefits pretty much whenever they want. I have never been reimbursed for any licensing fees.

    WifeMotherRN1, no that isn't a HIPAA violation and I don't think it's worth pursuing. The MD was aware of this information because he was your colleague not because he was your doctor and he has no legal obligation to keep this information private. When I worked in the hospital, word of stuff like that spread very quickly. If you don't want people to know, don't tell anyone. Also, it is a good idea to create a new thread if you have a question separate from the ongoing discussion so as not to hijack the thread. If you pursue anything, I would approach the MD and say "in the future, I would appreciate it if you wouldn't share personal information about me with patients, I like to keep those relationships strictly professional."
  7. by   sapphire18
    WifeMother, I'm sorry that happened but that is in no way related to HIPAA.
  8. by   nurseprnRN
    OP, if you have it in writing that the reimbursement for the license is their policy, then I think you have them by the short hairs. I think you describe it exactly right-- either your husband was employed and is due what his contract says, as evidenced by the fact that they kept sending him patient information which they would never send to a nonemployee, or he wasn't employed, in which case they were sending PHI to someone who had no business knowing it, and the fines for that are a great deal larger than $900.

    If you have a friend who's a lawyer, or your pastor or somebody has a lawyer who would do it for cheap or free, get a nicely worded letter to that general effect and see what shakes loose. Good luck!
  9. by   nurseprnRN
    WifeMotherRN1, if you want to keep your professional relationships professional, don't be telling anybody at work about your medical care. The MD was a jerk, and should be counseled about better manners, but alas, if she wasn't involved in delivering your care, there's no HIPAA violation, just a very regrettable breach of your friendship, and she owes you a huge apology.