Jump to content

Hipaa and scheduled Dr.'s appointments

HIPAA   (10,216 Views 12 Comments)
by makes needs known makes needs known (Member) Member

7,120 Profile Views; 323 Posts

My husband has been told he has to furnish proof of a future Dr's appointment in order to get the time off for appointment. Is this not a breach of Hipaa? Say you have an appointment with a psychiatrist. Or some other specialist for a condition that you have not divulged to your employer. I can understand if the reason might affect your ability to perform your job. Thanks for any information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BrnEyedGirl has 18 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN, APRN and specializes in Cardiac, ER.

1,235 Posts; 18,681 Profile Views

If the pt (your husband) gives out the info then it isn't a breech of anything,....you don't need to tell them why your going,..just a note from the office saying Mr Husband has an appointment Aug 22, 2010 at 1000. I agree though,...why an employer needs a note is beyond me,..can't he just ask in advance "hey I need Aug 22 off for an appointment?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sparrowhawk specializes in LTC.

664 Posts; 10,956 Profile Views

Seems like it's none of their dang business why I want a day off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

6,372 Posts; 34,585 Profile Views

HIPAA applies to your healthcare providers, not your employer. Unless you seek healthcare at your place of employment, your employer will not have access to your personal health records.

If an employee requests time off work to go to a healthcare appointment, the employer is within his rights to ask for proof of attendance at the appointment. If the appointment is related to a Family & Medical Leave Act issue or a Worker's Comp claim, the employer not only has the right to verify attendance at the appointment, but would be remiss not to request specific information related to the visit.

For an FMLA issue, the employer need not be told the diagnosis, but has the right to request information regarding the employee's progress toward resolution of the issue. For example, an anticipated return to work date without restrictions.

For a Worker's Comp claim, the employer has the right to information about the injury, treatment, and expected date of return to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

410 Posts; 5,562 Profile Views

The employer can request a note that says that the employee was present at the HCPs office on X date at X time. Unless it's a circumstance outlined by Jolie, no information about the diagnosis, treatment, prescriptions provided, etc. can or should be provided.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

3 Posts; 698 Profile Views

HIPAA applies to your healthcare providers, not your employer. Unless you seek healthcare at your place of employment, your employer will not have access to your personal health records.

If an employee requests time off work to go to a healthcare appointment, the employer is within his rights to ask for proof of attendance at the appointment. If the appointment is related to a Family & Medical Leave Act issue or a Worker's Comp claim, the employer not only has the right to verify attendance at the appointment, but would be remiss not to request specific information related to the visit.

For an FMLA issue, the employer need not be told the diagnosis, but has the right to request information regarding the employee's progress toward resolution of the issue. For example, an anticipated return to work date without restrictions.

For a Worker's Comp claim, the employer has the right to information about the injury, treatment, and expected date of return to work.

This is correct...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mentalhealthRN specializes in Psych/CD/Medical/Emp Hlth/Staff Ed.

433 Posts; 4,706 Profile Views

I get what the OP is saying about this giving away info that maybe person doesn't want their employer to know. Even if the person gets this "Note" stating that so and so has an appointment on such and such a date at such and such a time-- fine.....its that the letter is going to be written on the docs letterhead. This may give away info about what type of doc/appt it is......ie like mentioned a psychiatrist, an oncologist, etc. OP--I know when I worked in the Psych ED and we would have patients that after being evaluated were not going to be admitted but discharged home and they would request a note from the doc excusing them from work or school or what not. The fact that the stamps or scripts the docs use read "Department of Psychiatry" or "URMC Psych" etc. would give more info then the patient really wanted to share with their employer, school, etc. So we would use basic hospital paper--even a a blank progress note and have the doc write the note and sign it......I get the not wanting to give away more info then is necessary-- see if they will write a note like that that will not indicate the type of appt your husband has.

Hope that makes sense! lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

1 Post; 3 Profile Views

I do not have a comment but I do have a question.

 

Can an employer call the doctors office of an employee and ask them if their doctors appointment was prescheduled?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orion81RN has 7 years experience.

756 Posts; 7,927 Profile Views

3 hours ago, Lindsay said:

I do not have a comment but I do have a question.

 

Can an employer call the doctors office of an employee and ask them if their doctors appointment was prescheduled?

My question would be why does the employer have your doctor's phone number. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

6,235 Posts; 64,610 Profile Views

8 hours ago, Lindsay said:

I do not have a comment but I do have a question.

 

Can an employer call the doctors office of an employee and ask them if their doctors appointment was prescheduled?

The employer can require that the employee provide proof of a medical reason to miss work.  The employee can then give permission to their Doctor's office to confirm that the appointment occurred when the employer inquires about the appointment.  Or the employee can decline to allow any information related to the appointment to be shared, and risk the consequences that may go with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glycerine82 has 3 years experience as a ASN, LPN and specializes in SNF/Rehab/Geri.

1 Article; 2,011 Posts; 25,782 Profile Views

HIPAA pertains only to the patient and the provider caring for the patient.  That's not to say this isn't an invasion of privacy, because it is. 

He should be able to get some kind of note or letter stating he's got an appointment without divulging what it's for.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

87 Posts; 517 Profile Views

On 8/31/2019 at 3:10 PM, Lindsay said:

I do not have a comment but I do have a question.

 

Can an employer call the doctors office of an employee and ask them if their doctors appointment was prescheduled?

All I can say is: I work in an outpatient clinic. If someone called and said they were an employer (or declined to say who they were at all), and asked about appointments, we definitely wouldn’t tell them anything. It would be “We can’t say that that person has or hasn’t ever been seen here. If you’d like to know about someone’s medical treatment, you’ll need that person to call and give us permission to talk to you.” 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×