Possible termination for HIPAA violations - page 9

by Magnolia619 58,629 Views | 95 Comments

I am a young nurse that has only been practicing for 1 1/2 years. I love my job as a nurse, and I just got my dream job at a hospital I have always wanted to work at. I have been there for 4 months and I was called into HR for a... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from Magnolia619
    Thanks to all of you who gave me constructive criticism, prayers, and further USEFUL information. I got a call today that I'm not being terminated. Instead I just have a meeting with them Monday to talk about it and how we can change it.
    Congrats, you are very lucky to have found one of the few employers who will give someone a second chance. There used to be more of them, but nowadays it's rare....

    But I have a general question for those who have been in a similar situation with the more common, bad outcome. If someone gets terminated for cause, how can they ever find another job? How do you get past the many hurdles in today's tough employment market? It starts with the question "Have you ever been terminated?" on applications, an honest answer to which probably leads to immediate disposition in the circular file. So they won't even get a chance to try to explain what they have learned from the situation in an interview, because they won't get that far.

    Just giving a "reason for leaving" (found on 100% of all applications, online or not) is a dilemma. Any answer employers consider to be less than truthful can, of course, lead to immediate termination if hired into a new job. So what should such a nurse do?!

    Maybe someone can give some advice and encouragement to those whose outcomes have not been this positive.

    OP, best of luck to you, I think you will do great.

    DeLana
  2. 0
    Quote from rn/writer
    these rules were originally enacted to prevent patients from having their lives ruined when their personal health information was somehow "leaked" to people other than their immediate healthcare teams. initially, the laws were designed to protect patients who had aids or who were hiv-positive and who stood to lose their jobs, their homes, their families and just about everything else that mattered to them because word got out that they had medical conditions that were poorly understood and greatly feared. they became modern-day lepers once their information became public knowledge. the rest of us have benefited from this more stringent way of handling private medical information.
    respectfully, no, not true. the impetus for hippa was the homosexual lobby, and their (legitimate) privacy concerns, but that was not at all the direction of hippa.

    prior to 1996, most facilities had privacy policies, of varying sorts in place. certainly not all, and state codes & statutes had not caught up to the availability brought about by emr.

    one of the key (legislative) sponsors of hippa was bill frist, (r) senator from tennessee.
    http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=f000439

    senator frist concurrently introduced legislation to cap personal injury claim settlements, at the same time. few people were in doubt that this would die. hippa, however...
    why would this be important to senator frist?
    http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personid=1455730&privcapid=1455728&prev iouscapid=1455728&previoustitle=frist%20capital

    his affiliation with hca, and the concurrent interests of his brother, father & grandfather, tom frist sr., jr., and the iiird.
    http://www.forbes.com/profile/thomas-frist/

    what hippa does: restricts the access and use of phi by individuals. penalties for violation may be levied against a facility or institution, but (and here's the catch) reporting requirements state that if the facility/institution becomes aware of a phi breach, and reports it (federally), "in a timely manner", the facility has done due diligence and is not liable for pursuant damages. liability rests solely on the employee or designeee of the facility, who has signed acknowledgement of the hippa mandate.

    in practical terms, if maria, a medical records clerk, sells your social, address, etc., to her cousin mario, who's a member of ms-13, and mario uses fake id (in your name) to buy firearms, purchase 3 escalades to cart his hit squad in, and files for ss disability to supplement his income, you'll have the batfe, irs, treasury and various collections agencies after you. if the facility discovers maria's malfeasance, and reports it, you now have the priveledge of trying to recoup your legal etc., expenses from maria, not the facility which (arguably) was negligent in assessing her as a security risk.

    equally, specificity requirements in requesting phi have not improved security for patients or families. some facilities went (initially) so far as to generate different account numbers for "visits" by inpatients to ct, mri, lab, etc.. why? under subpoena for a pi or wrongful death suit, if the attorney did not specify the correct stay, and account numbers, they would not receive a full mr. iirc, around 2000 jcaho decided this was a "safety risk", for obvious (though non-litigatory) reasons, and it has pretty well disappeared.

    if one can explain how the loss of civil recourse, by injured parties, results in "heightened protection", i'd love to hear the argument. hippa is probably the most successful pr campaign in history.





    what is the greater motivator for securing my records?:
    • $2.8 million dollars from the facility, for negligence, and a 5 year prison stretch for the malfeasant actor(willful injury, abuse of authority).
    or-
    • free credit monitoring for 1 year from the facility (which they do not legally have to provide) and the ability to sue susie schmoe, rn/dietary/mr/whatever who makes $10-30/hr. hmmmmm...
  3. 3
    HIPAA, not HIPPA!!!!! (sorry, pet peeve of mine!)
    GrnTea, ProfRN4, and Esme12 like this.
  4. 3
    Quote from ColleenRN2B
    HIPAA, not HIPPA!!!!! (sorry, pet peeve of mine!)
    Me TOO!! You beat me..... and If you're going to make a point and a good point spell it correctly...
    Last edit by Esme12 on Jul 15, '13
    krisiepoo, GrnTea, and BuckyBadgerRN like this.
  5. 1
    Which one, the original, "Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act", or the(we decided it was more PC), "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act"?

    Feces is feces, by any other name.
    Edit: I was at Centennial Med when the "Discussion" was going on, I have some basis for HIPPA/HIPAA interchengeability.
    Esme12 likes this.
  6. 1
    Quote from Rob72
    Which one, the original, "Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act", or the(we decided it was more PC), "Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act"?

    Feces is feces, by any other name.
    The one that governs us today =) I remember it the "old" way too, LOL
    Esme12 likes this.
  7. 0
    OP, I'm glad you are not being terminated. I agree with rn/writer and others who have said that yes, it was a HIPAA violation, but no, it was not malicious and it was an honest mistake.

    Perhaps you could offer to put together a handout or presentation on HIPAA for your co-workers as "penance". I am sure management would appreciate the effort to learn from your experience and help keep others from making the same mistake.
  8. 0
    Quote from nurse educate
    This thread should serve as an eye-opener to all reading it (or at least a real-life reminder of the consequences to our actions). I know many stated she 'meant no harm' by her actions. Think of all the med errors, Pt falls and other reportable accidents/errors. Most of them are not done with malicious intent. Just wanted to remind you all of this.

    It's a tough lesson. Fortunately you've been given a second chance. If you wouldn't mind sharing with us what you're told on Monday, I think it would be great advice for all who are following the thread.
    I am very happy you still have your job. I am afraid we lose good nurses because there is no mediation these days or second chances in the field. I don't understand what is happening in Nursing.

    I can understand where you didn't know. Completely. It was innocent.

    It's a mistake. We are humans and make mistakes. In many other fields you cna make such a mistake and not lose your job over it. no one was harmed and that's most important of them all.

    Even if it was a med error with no malicious intent or negligence, mediation, not termination should be intitiated.

    Sorry for the mini rant.
  9. 0
    whatever became of this issue
  10. 0
    Quote from Magnolia619
    Thanks to all of you who gave me constructive criticism, prayers, and further USEFUL information. I got a call today that I'm not being terminated. Instead I just have a meeting with them Monday to talk about it and how we can change it. I completely told them the truth and informed them I would do ANYTHING to help me and others in the future. They understood me and know the type of person and nurse I am. I am just grateful that they see me as a nurse that they still want on their team. Yes I did learn all of this the hard way. Just as a poster said before sometimes things might not stick when you are handed a sheet or told in general conversation... Sometimes you practically have to run into it to make it make sense and stick. Believe me IT IS STUCK!!! I will do everything in my power to continue to give the best care I can, smile at everyone I come into contact with, and bring reading material. :-) again thanks to all for the comments that were of use... Some gave it to me head on but still with care, some gave it nicely to try to make me feel better, and others well... Didn't leave me with anything to remember but to wonder if they ever made a mistake in their life, because guess what... I'm human and I learned.
    The answer was in the thread......This is the result.


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