Shawna has been a registered nurse (RN) since 2004. She earned her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing at Arizona State University. Go Devils!
What is HIPAA?
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The federal law originated in 1996, and it protects the privacy of a patient's personal and health information. The purpose of HIPAA is to keep medical records and other individually identifiable health information completely private. HIPAA gives patients increased control over their health information.
You've probably signed plenty of HIPAA forms. HIPAA is very important to health care providers of all specialties because patient privacy is a top priority. Doctors, dentists, optometrists, and other healthcare providers are required under HIPAA to provide each patient with a Notice of Privacy Practices at the time of their first visit. Patients must provide a signature, agreeing that they have received a copy of the HIPAA privacy practices. A signature is only required once, no matter how many times you visit the provider.
How do you feel about HIPAA?
What information does HIPAA protect?
Information protected by HIPAA includes anything oral or recorded in any form or medium. All information, whether in the past, present, or future, is safeguarded. Physical and psychological health conditions, provisions of care, and payment information are all protected. Examples of protected health information:
- Patient's name, address, birthdate, age, phone and fax numbers, and email addresses
- Medical records, diagnoses, lab work and test results, medical images, and prescriptions
- Billing records, claim data, referral authorizations, and explanations of benefits
- Electronic records, paper records, and oral communications
Healthcare providers are obligated to carefully manage and protect patients' personal information. Healthcare providers are allowed to use patient information for treatment of the patient, payment of bills, and healthcare operations, such as audits, quality improvement, teaching, and government reporting.
Access to healthcare information by healthcare providers is based on "need to know" and "minimum necessary" principles. Healthcare workers should only access information if it is necessary for providing the best patient care. When information is accessed, only the minimum amount of data necessary should be retrieved. Information can be communicated between healthcare providers, such as nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and lab technicians, as long as they are involved in the patient's care. Information may also be communicated to family and friends of the patient if they are involved in the patient's care, unless a patient has objected to sharing personal information. Parents, guardians, and medical powers of attorney can be spoken with as if they are the patient.
What are the rules about disclosing personal information?
Under HIPAA, personal healthcare information can be released to law enforcement without patient permission under certain circumstances. These include:
- Court orders and subpoenas
- Identifying suspects, witnesses, or missing persons
- Reporting about victims of crime, neglect, or abuse
For any other uses, an authorization form must be signed by the patient prior to the release of information. There is special protection for:
- Psychotherapy notes
- Drug and alcohol abuse treatment records
- Research records
- Communicable disease information
- HIV/AIDS status
- Genetic testing
- Evaluation and treatment of mental health disorders
Mental illness medical records have additional safeguards under the law and are treated differently from other types of medical records. Patients being evaluated and treated for mental health problems have the option to be excluded from the facility directory. The facility directory is like a roster of all the facility's patients. HIPAA allows patients with mental health disorders or substance abuse problems to be treated and or admitted under complete confidentiality. Victims of violent crimes and abuse are also excluded from the facility directory, giving them complete anonymity.
HIPAA requires health care workers to protect patient privacy. Employees who do not comply can face disciplinary action. Privacy violations can occur in many different ways. A nurse and physician discussing patient information in a crowded elevator is a verbal violation of patient privacy. Faxing personal health information to the wrong number is another example of a privacy breach. Criminal penalties for wrongful disclosure can be as high as $250,000 and up to 10 years in prison. Healthcare workers are educated regularly on HIPAA guidelines.
In a world where identity theft is unfortunately common, access to patient information must be highly restricted. HIPAA prioritizes patient privacy. So the next time you're signing pages upon pages of forms at the doctor's office, remember that HIPAA is very important because it protects your irreplaceable personal information.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Chap on January 02, 2013:
I recently shared with my adult daughter about a patient I had attended to, that was very emotional for me (I'm a chaplain). I never mentioned the patient's name, and very little about the situation. My daughter raised her voice to me and said "Are you supposed to be saying this???" and I said it was ok, since I didn't mention a name. Was I breaking the HIPAA law or not?
cujo2956 on December 11, 2012:
A patient has filed a complaint against a pharmacy technician. The technician is accused of violation of the Heath Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by leaving messages on the answering machine stating that the patient’s prescription is ready, but does not leave specific information concerning the medication or disease state. Has there been a violation? If so, what and why?
Frankie on October 24, 2012:
What if your supervisor looks at your husbands records or appointment on the system computer to tell you that the procedure you said you need to take time off to drive your husband home, isn't true that there is no procedure that day. When you ask them how do they know. They don't give an answer. The reason why it isn't in our seystem is because the procedure was referred to another doctor that isn't in our health system. Did that supervisor break hippa violation? What if this supervisor is a Hippa coordinator, are they above the law? What actions can be taken?
concerned parent on August 12, 2012:
hippa is a slow process. family and friends discovered in my house private information left behind from a person on more than 150 patients. reported it to the hospital she works for and guess what. she still works there like nothing happened! should i go to public media to resolve this?
Carol on July 19, 2012:
One of my patients was on the phone with his attorney. He handed the phone to me and asked me to speak with his attorney. I was put on the spot! Afterwards I asked him to sign an affidavit that he requested me to talk to his attorney and had given me permission to speak with her, and I also had him sign a release of information form for any future issues such as this. Am I guilty of violating HIPAA, since he wanted me to speak to the attorney, I was caught off guard, but obtained his signature for that conversation after the fact?
devon on June 22, 2012:
HOPE HOPE you can respond, but i am concerned and wondering if this is a violation of my privacy.
should it be acceptable for an office assistant to ask invasive questions that are not relevant to making an actual appointment?
i had a pregnancy early in the year and it ended and i don't like to talk about this, not even with close family. the receptionist then insisted i tell her about HOW the pregnancy ended, which I guess i feel is out of her realm of "need-to-know" and into the realm of "making-me-incredibly-uncomfortable".......i don't think she should have a right to ask such invasive questions that don't change my appointment situation....just seemed to serve her curiosity....
Marina on June 19, 2012:
What about a medical assistant ask for a oatients chart and has never treated the patient what rule are they breaking
straightforward on June 14, 2012:
Ken Carlson, I can't believe you are blaming the doc for the damages that you have done to your body.
Christine on June 11, 2012:
I work in a hospice and I am interested in finding out if it is a HIPPA violation to forward along a thank you card from the family of a deceased patient to the referring physician as a way of thanking him for the referral and sharing directly with him the appreciation of the family.
PracAdmin on June 11, 2012:
We are having an issue with independent contractor MD and therapist wanting a list of their patients and their addresses to send notifications to those people that they are leaving our practice and changing addresses. Can we give them this list? What should I do.
Regan on June 09, 2012:
Are pharmacy's in violation of HIPPA if they have no line or barrier for people who are waiting in line to keep the next person from standing right next to them as they receive/pay for there prescriptions?
Denise C. on June 05, 2012:
I am legal guardian of a 17 year old boy with a mental illness. He is in a psychiatric hospital at the present time in crisis. The Psychiatrist refuses to keep me informed as to his status. Never advises me about the medications she is placing him on. The hospital provides little or no communication with me or his case manager. We do not even know when he will be released or where he will go because we have not been included. I would say my rights have been violated. What say you?
Tom on June 05, 2012:
What is hippa
julie on June 04, 2012:
is it ok for a father to call his sons psychiatrist and inform him of behaviors he is seeing at home from the son. these behaviors are dangerous and could result in a suicide attempt by the son who is 30 years old. in short can a provider of menatal health services listen to information regarding one of his patients without giving information out, or is that not legal?
Michelle on June 02, 2012:
What is Hippa law regarding a nurse providing her lawyer with patient records/information in order to state her case and for possible witness testimony and what if the patient/witness is found to be deceased?
Sandra on June 02, 2012:
Is it a violation of hippa if im the patient sign the hippa policy but i myself talk about my medical condition.. have a friend arguing with me about this i dont think it is a violation since im the patient but he says once he signs the hippa policy that he is unger and agreement not to say anything about his medical condition.. never heard of this before..
Marie on June 01, 2012:
Recently I was hospitalized on the mental health unit . I was seen at the hospital by a dr that I had never seen before and was only there for 3 days.upon leaving he suggested I follow up with comp care. The day after I left the hospital my soon to be x husband went to the dr office( not the hospital) and got a statement from the dr that read ... To whom it may concern ..... Ms ? Has been hospitalized under my care. Ms? Is no longer able to care for her children due to medical reasons. If you have any questions you may contact my office at the above listed numbers. Is this a hippa violation? Please let me know.
nayef on May 31, 2012:
hi my question is that is it a HIPAA violation to send lab results of the patients to their mails.
STACEY R. on May 29, 2012:
Is it against HIPPA for a provider to bring home a patients chart to complete medical notes for what treatment was done that day?
Frustrated Student Nurse on May 25, 2012:
Can a social worker release the social security numbers and cell of a person who has Medical Power of Attorney over a minor child to a Child Protective Officer?
dski57 on May 24, 2012:
What can I do if my health insurance company sent sensitive medical information to a hospital that has no interest in my treatment?
dski57 on May 24, 2012:
What are my rights if my insurance company sent sensitive medical information to a hospital with no interest in my condition?
Michael C on May 22, 2012:
I am a custodial parent and cannot verify medical coverage under my ex's plan. I cannot locate her to discuss and the insurance agency refuses to discuss my child's eleigibilty claiming HIPAA. How is this so? I cant verify if my child has insurance?
Lanette on May 19, 2012:
I sent a Company my medical information, ssn and address about a month ago. I was waiting on them to respond by email or even by phone. I get a phone call around 8:30 in the morning, this person is telling me that she has all my personal information such as my ssn, address and medical information that the Company I sent this to had. she stated that they sent it to her by mistake. she also stated that she called the company to inform them of their mistake and what should she do with my information but they didn't ask her to send my information back. So she call me and I asked her to please send me my information. well the company still have not called me to inform me that they sent my information to the wrong person. Do I have a case against this company?
frank on May 15, 2012:
i work in a psych unit in a hospital. we get our patients from the er. is it a hippa violation for me to walk through the er on my break and talk to other workers and security(not talk about patient info!) the e.r. is giving me a hard time saying i am scouting for patients.
Chuck on May 14, 2012:
I work as a data entry operator & i have access to patient's personal information,i had doubts regarding a certain update & since i could not contact my manager in the office i sent an email (through my personal account) mentioning the query along with patient's name & date of birth...please do let me know whether i have violated HIPAA agreement.
cora on May 09, 2012:
Several months ago we had very ill patient with very aggressive cancer. Patients wife was requesting results of a specific mutation done on biopsy to see if patient was elible to take a treatment. We played phone tag several times and I wanted to let her know what results were at the end of the day. She gave me a call back number and voicemail identified her. Basically I said " This is Cora with Dr. D. office, I'm sorry that I have missed your calls and just wanted to let you know the ...... was negative. Please call me back when you get this message and I can explain it to yyou more." She called me back within in a couple minutes to let me know she got the message. She was upset because it was negative but say anything about the message. Over the next couple of days the patient and family came for appointment. Patients liver was failing within about 3 weeks of initial consult. Patient very angry at Dr. D and they mentioned that lab result being left on answering machine was a Hippa violation. They were verbally abusive to Dr. D. Now months after this incident I received a call from risk management that this patient wants to file a complaint about a hippa violation. If I didn't give specic patient imformation is that a hippa violation?
mike on May 08, 2012:
can i be assured that if i go to the hospital to have an abcess treated that was caused from iv drug use the hospital does not have the right to inform my primary care unless i say it is ok and sign a waiver or something of that nature. this is a fairly urgent matter butt i am very concerned that the hospital will inform my doctor!
smiesmom on May 04, 2012:
I received notification from a local hospital that my file had been viewed by someone on the staff who had no reason to access my information. This person has been fired. I feel very violated. Do I have any recourse?
catwoman219 on May 04, 2012:
I was recently urine tested in march and I was quite sick with vomiting and the runs, it came back none of my pain pills in my urine then again in april it said the same thing no way I was in the hospital for 6 days and they were giving me my meds also, I take my meds but even after bringing this to the administrators attention they still kicked me out , And by the way my urine cups were never labled when I turned the cups over to the nurse, now I cant find another doctor cause this is in my chart any suggestions, if they didn't show up in my urine then something happened, also Im on 80 milligrams of lasik and take BP med with a diuretic in it could this maybe of affected the test
Linda on May 03, 2012:
I know doctor's are held to certain compliances and legalities, but I am trying to find information to show patients when the balk at filling out information sheets. Can you tell a patient they MUST fill out the insurance information section even if we scan their insurance card? what about the fraud aspect of staff helping a patient that is capable of filling out the form but present conflict when asked?
ErrantEMail on May 01, 2012:
I received a targeted email from a dermatologist; the email was address to what is clearly a sub-set of his practice [due to the low number of email addresses], and was explicitly discussing a specific medical treatment associated with a specific medical condition, and inviting the recipient to join a medical study on that condition.
The inference I took, and anyone else reading the email, is that the email was directed to a sub-set of patients with that medical condition.
Unfortunately, due to the stupidity of the MD, he exposed all the addresses using "To" or "cc", rather than "BCC". This is a common, but avoidable, practice which exposes all recipients to broadcast emails.
I believe that this MD violated HIPAA rules, and additionally, email/commercial privacy laws in this State.
How do you regard the HIPAA violation?
Jamie on April 30, 2012:
Is it a HIPAA violation if an unknown patient is admitted to the hospital after they commit a crime and the social worker ask law enforcement to fingerprint the patient so they can reach family? Or does law enforcement have to request the fingerprints? Also if the patient had not did any crime but was still unknown can a hospital social worker ask law enforcement for helping in identfting a patient by fingerprinting? If yo ucan let me know where is the HIPAA law you find this information I would be greatful.
marie on April 25, 2012:
Hi just have a question. Is toyos a Hipparchus violation if my son'biological father's family sends my genetic testing to my. Husband's mother without my. Permission?
Robert on April 13, 2012:
If your spouse goes to see your doctor for themselves and then the doctor says oh your so and so's wife and then starts to discuss your medications and with your spouse and also discusses the state of your mental health, meaning stress, this has to be a HIPPA Violation? My wife told me about this and she already knew what medications I took so it wasn't a shock to her but the fact that the doctor discussed me was just wrong to do. I want to know the proper way to file a complaint and can I sue him for this. My wife was as shocked as I was that he discussed me so openly. Just because it's a spouse doesn't mean they can do this right?
stress on April 12, 2012:
Hi , I work in a DR's office I do medical records I accidently mailed a report that didn't belong to a patient I told my boss about it her and the cao and human resources person had me signe a writte up and they moved me to another position and they said I have to wait for the state to give them an answer in 10 can I get fired for this human error. I mean I already got moved to another position .
jr2012 on April 12, 2012:
Is this topic still alive(Active)?
Mommy3 on April 09, 2012:
My doctors office sent out a bulk email to all their patients inviting them to "like" their Facebook page, however ALL the patients personal email addresses were viewable by ALL who received the email. Is this a Hippa violation, divulging personal information in this manner?
Michelle on April 09, 2012:
Hello, I have a question about the Hipaa laws, If you are a nursing assistant and you are providing care to a resident that has a disease like AIDS/HIV do you as the person providing cares to that resident have the right to know what the person has? I understand that universal precautions are to be used at all times with every resident but shouldn't the person providing cares be aware of such diseases to be extra cautious with that person? Thanks
Commit204 on April 08, 2012:
Dose the HIPPA laws stop you from knowing that a person is located at that hospital?
Idontknow on April 05, 2012:
Does anyone know if it is in volation of Hippa to use patient initials. Also what about listing the name of drugs?
Laurie on April 05, 2012:
What is HIPAA rule on disclosing financial information from old dentist to new dentist?
fried nurse on April 05, 2012:
Every doctor's office I've ever been to insists on you signing in on a board with your first and last name and also calling you aloud when the dr is ready to see you.
I believe that is a violation of our privacy.
My worst experience is though a very personal one. I got sick at work and another employee (not my supervisor)took it upon herself to call my dr and ask him if I was claiming a worker's comp claim (which I wasn't)and he called her! I complained to the HIPPA compliance officers at the medical place where I worked snd also to the dr's office. Got nowhere. Apparently this part of the law is unenforceable?
shala on April 04, 2012:
I would like to know if an email that is sent to your supervisor that contains patients information such as name and diagnosis can be used as evidence in a court without deleting the patients name?
Kenn. Let me begin byy Carlson on April 04, 2012:
i know you will ask for how much $ I can pay if the info is helpful. Let me preface this by saying I'm a 15 year college veteran. I am now fully disabled making (barely) $800/mo so I can't really pay anything. If you're willing to do this for me for the hell of, I'd appreciate it. I have numerous diseases/medical issues, many of which cause pain.GERD, hiatyl hernia, T12-S1 degen disk disease, L4-L5 diskectomy/laminectomy w/ BAK cages (which have since failed), had an MI at 36 y.o, bilateral carpel tunnel, osteoarthritis, bilateral avascular necrosis (L full replacement), cirrhosis, hepatomegaly (MY LIVER RESTS ON MY PELVIS), Advanced liver failure, bleeding esophogeal varices, bad spleen, pancreas, gall bladder, numbness in lower extremities (haven't felt my feet in 5+ years) now I'm gettin unhealing pressure ulcers, had a hydrocele repaired 2years ago july, now I have an inguinal hernia w/ appx 7" of intestine going down and the hanging a u turn to reenter my abdomen (by looking at my groin, it looks as if I have a grapefruit sized testicle), ascites fluid that enters my "boys" off and on, severe edema in my left foot (the one w/pressure ulcer), my teeth have all decided to jump ship, I have major depression, manic depression, anxiety, and panic disorder. I have been on pharmaceutical or black market opiates for 25+ years for pain control. I had been illicit free for 12 years until my hernia (btw they claim I don't have a hernia...just loops of intestine in my inguinal canal! Huh? Like telling a dentist you have a cavity & he says, " no...that's not a cavity, it's a great rotting hole in your tooth)...anyway my doctor slipped in a drug screen w/o my knowing it (don't I need to be informed of this?) anfd subsequently cut me off ALL pain meds, anxiety meds, muscle relaxers, etc. Is that legal;/ethical/appropriate? Finally I received a letter from her about my drug test results and her "dissapointment" with my dishonesty. Let me add that I've told her twice when I relapsed and she nhelped me through it. I NEVER concealed my history of addiction, and was happily using rx meds vs iv black tar to control pain. When my tolerance reached the limit of her willingness to perscribe higher dosed, I asked for Opana (which I've taken before). She refused, sayinf "well it's jusy morphine (hydro morphone), so why not just take morphine? I begged her NOT to give that to me as 1. it was ineffective in the past. 2. it tended to make me relapse easier than other meds. She gave me an rx for 450 morphine continuois release tablets. By the end of the month, I was using herion again after 10+ years of avoiding using it. I wondered , if, as she said, "they're both morphine" then why couldn't I take the variant that worked instead of the rx that I KNEW would be problematic. My hippa question is: when my doctor dictates a letter to be sent to me, the secretary/assistant now becomes prive to all things in the letter, without my approval. In my case failing a drug test, having a drug history, and basically all of my personal/private info that was in the letter. Is this a hippa violation? Is her behavior (cutting me off all opiates) and sending me into severe withdrawl. That was, until I looked up an old heroin dealer for very xpensive, illegal pills/etc. Being thrown into withdrawl is a danger for my heart, my hepatic blood pressure, and going back to street narcotics/syringes/illegality, etc. She put me at risk of further screwing up my liver, shortening my lifespan, exposing me to diseases, putting me at risk for arrest, etc. Is this a violation of malpractice, lack of ethical practices, bad faith dr/patient relations, etc?
Pleas advise as best u can. THX.
Gregg on April 03, 2012:
A relative worked for a clinic and accessed my medical records with sensitive information against my approval, she has done this with other relatives and friends of the family. She was fired after the hospital found out she was doing this. Do I have a case?
Bfs Caretaker on March 29, 2012:
I'm guardian of my sister who is mentally retarded & I attend all her appointments. She lives in a group home and they're telling me they must be in the doctors exam room with her and I. I can't find anything that says they can or can't. Do you know where I can find this information?
orangetv on March 29, 2012:
A doctor that I was seeing for a short time happened to be a distant relative of mine. There was a problem that arose and he terminated me as a patient. (Moral- don't see a family member as your doctor.) Anyway, his 12 year old son contacted me a few days later. He knew I had been a patient of his dad's and knew I was terminated from his dad's practice. He kept trying to talk to me about it but I did not feel that it was a child's business. I later found out that other members of my family knew I had been a patient and knew I had been terminated. I did not want these people to know I was seeing this doctor. I signed a HIPPA agreement when I first established care. This all feels very invasive. Has this doctor violated the HIPPA agreement by telling family members that I was his patient and that he terminated the doctor-patient relationship?
Laurie on March 27, 2012:
I've been going to my gyno's office since I was 16, I'm now 23 and pregnant it was last summer when I went for a initial blood work I saw that my husband's ex-girlfriend began working there as a medical assistant at the front desk. When I spoke with my Dr. at that visit she told he that she didn't have access to my medical records, and could only see my address, contact info, and insurance info. Then today i go in for my 34 week apt my husbands ex was the one who took me to my room took my blood pressure and weight. I asked my I told my dr. again the situation and she said she does have access to my records. Why was there not a note made that I didn't want her caring for me after my talk initially last summer with the dr. and I have some information I do not want her to know, becuase she may tell others. Is any of this a violation of HIPPA or can I take any action to protect myself.
pammyjoe on March 26, 2012:
At a recent office visit, the receptionist called out to me from across the room. She called me by my first and last name, asked if I still had (insurance coverage), and was asking if my phone number was still...I made it to the window before she could call that out too. I understand that use of first and last names are incidental information. But is she not at the very least placing the provider and the agency an a slippery slope toward violation with her oral announcement of addresses and contact numbers? One would think that common sense, a respect for patient privacy, and decency would lead the staff to take a more descreet approach to confirm information. But is she not on the brink of more than disrepect whether it is intentional or not?
ryleighmom on March 26, 2012:
I work in a chiropractic office and we are working on putting together a before and after photobook of some of our patients x-rays. We are not using any names or initials. The only information provided will be age and gender. Do we need signed releases in order to print these x-rays even without the use of patient names?
Denise on March 26, 2012:
Is it against Hippa laws to take a patients phone number , that I thought I already had, home with me to call her for a medical reason about myself.? Her husband is a neuro surgeon in NY and I wanted a referral for NJ? My boss has threatened to fire me unless I sign a paper that I did this because she doesn't want me to get paid unemployment .
mg3 on March 25, 2012:
hi wanted to know my sister takes her kids to an urgent care were one of the kids daddys new girlfriend works at during one of their custody arguments went to court and he filed paperwork from the urgent care that she provided him with no release this happened a oouple of years ago but i was wondering what can be done? we talked to one of the supervisors and he went on and on about how she is so great and they have had her over for diner and such but nothing was done no reprimand no nothing . to clarify she has and bites that she got at a park and they filed all the paperwork from her visits to the urgent care to show she is a bad mom which needless to say she still has custody but can you give me your advise please
Mallory on March 23, 2012:
She may be the custodial parent, but he still has parental rights. As long as a parent has their parental rights intact, it is against the law for the custodial parent or doctors office to withhold medical information from the other parent.
Neta on March 22, 2012:
My adult daughter is currently hospitalized. When she was admitted, she was alone. The staff admitting her and connecting all necessary medical machines thought my daughter was asleep. During this time, they talked about her condition, stopped and didn't complete connections, left her uncovered and proceeded to go out into the hallway and tell other staff of her conditions. I had a nurse on duty tell me the following day she heard the two staffers telling others from down the hallway. Naturally, my daughter is upset and this is deterring her from healing. Was this action not prohibited and outside of the boundaries of The HIPPA law? I've addressed it to upper management. Their standing is that my daughter will not be treated as such ever again. What can I do to ensure no one else in this hospital will ever be treated as tho they have the plague?
Stacey on March 22, 2012:
Does doctor have right to delete pregnancy test that was sent to lab of your medical record if they done it by mistake
DR.1 on March 21, 2012:
I have recently emailed the Dr.(owner) of the private practice I have previously been employed with, requesting patient files of patients I had seen, in order to complete my Board Exam submissions. This Dr. claims I have violated HIPA law. Is this true?
HAWK on March 10, 2012:
I want to ask a question. if a person that works at a doctor office says to a parent of a child i hope that our child feels better is that a violation of HIPPA. The other parent didn't know that the child had been to the doctor office. so when i said that i hope his child feel better he asked was his son at the doctor office. i never said that i was the person to take him back or never looked in the patient records. i only said that i saw them as i was leaving out i don't know if he was sick or not. can someone answer this for me
Mikiella on March 08, 2012:
During a routine visit with my physician I mentioned that he be careful because one of his patients is abusing her prescription and using it recreationally. Is that a HIPAA violation? I thought the conversation between the physician and I was confidential, however the physician told the abusing patient and specifically said that I said it.
mel on March 08, 2012:
I just have a quick question that I hope can be answered here. Is there anything illegal about asking for a patient's ID or insurance info in the waiting room before they are seen by a doctor in the ER? Does the patient have to be registered before this information can be obtained? I have been told this is true but I can't find any info on the veracity of this claim. Thanks so much for your help.
JO on March 07, 2012:
Can an office worker ask what you take certain meds for? I was standing at counter trying to make an appt. and was asked why I took something. I was then told she could not make me an appt. without the drs. approval because I was taking medication. This is the first time something like this has happened to me before.
Jojo on March 01, 2012:
I recently gave birth to my girls. The whole time I was at the hospital, a friend's ex (who works in dr's office) was giving play by play of my progress to our friend. This gal is not supposed to be giving out personal info, to anyone, and has definitely gone against my rights. What steps should I take into looking into this and protecting my rights? Thank you.
runt on February 28, 2012:
I work in a office where I was seen by a doctor who I work for. I did not want to be seen there as I was worried some co workers would possibly be in my chart) He promised me he would document and close the chart right away which he did, but approx 4 and 6 hours later 2 coworkers went into my chart. Management and HR said they could be in my chart since these nurses also are on the same team as the doctor. I'm upset since the physician did not need any help from either of these nurses. What can I do? I'm humilated.
Hunter236 on February 28, 2012:
I work at a hotel/convention center with the security/first aid team. Often times we have guests that are members of a large convention that have personal medical issues and contact us for assistance. The hotel's convention contact and the group's contact often ask that we fill them in on any group members that have medical incidents. By doing so, are we in violations of Hipaa?
mary on February 28, 2012:
my Ex Dr is giving out information on my health care to my husband I feel this is a violation of HIPPA he says that since we are married that HIPPA does not apply I have never signed a release to allow him to talk to anyone
Wow on February 24, 2012:
Can a nurse go into your records take your address and give it to the city police for her own gain because she is trying to take you to small court. Her personal reson.!!! And can I sue her and the hospital for it.!!
curiousvisitor on February 22, 2012:
Is it ok for a hospital to post medical precaution signs in a patient's room, i.e., visually/hearing impaired, 2 person trasfer, etc...
Leah on February 16, 2012:
We are having some issues getting claims to process without social security numbers as most of out patients either do not want to give out their SSN or they only want to give last 4 digits. Is there a law or rule that we can show our patients that we do infact need their SSN?
lab girl on February 14, 2012:
Is it ok to have more than one patient in a drawing room at the same time for blood draws? What does HIPPA say about this?
BabyDoll0205 from Wappingers Falls, New York on February 11, 2012:
Is there a legal requirement for how often we have a patient complete their medical history in a dental office? (We currently use every 2 years but I can't find any straight answers on if this is a legal requirement either through the Federal government or through NY State)
Shrokmanmarsh on February 10, 2012:
I have a question. My last name is hyphenated due to the fact that there is a cousin by marriage with the same identical name in our town. We also live in a very rural area so we use the same doctors within a 60 mile radius. I try to emphasize that there are two of us with the same similar name in the same town and my name is hyphenated. Several times my Dr. office calls her. Whether it is to tell her she has glasses to pick up or they need to speak with me regarding something.Has left mail for her in her name and not mine, that was for me. With her address and not mine. Even to the point to when I came into the hospital in labor- having a baby, they picked up her records instead of mine. They were shocked. Can you tell me what I should do? It is becoming a real issue over the past year and am tired of it. I specifically hyphenated my name not only due to having someone in the family with the same exact name but for work also to keep us apart. this has been an ongoing ordeal for almost 10 years. Thanks.
t jones on February 09, 2012:
is it a vilation to ask patients in the waiting area what type of test they are for. (ie x-ray, ultrasound, mammogram)
my employer is trying to cut down on wait time and to track which dept is the problem they go to the waiting room and ask "who has been waiting for over 20 minutes" then the patients that say "i am" are asked "what type of test are you for"
becca29 on February 08, 2012:
i would like to get an answer on a question that is bugging me...
i work at a hospital and i answer phones a person called and said she had a missed call from this number. i paged her name and said she was on line 5 and if you called her to please answer line 5 did i break a hippa rule?
shawna.wilson (author) from Arizona on February 06, 2012:
Not unless your child is over 18.
k on February 03, 2012:
If your child broke their wrist and you discussed what the doctors told you with other parents if this illegal?
clfugere on February 01, 2012:
In August 2011 I was drugged and raped. While receiving medical care at our local hospital a man I had only dated once found out this what had happened to me. He came up to the hospital demanding to see me and the turned him away because he did not have any of my personal information. I was told that he left in a rage. He went to his neighbors home knowing that she worked at the hospital and had her call to get my personal information including my last name and room number. He returned to the hospital with this information and was allowed to go through the security doors that lead to the room I was in. He frighten me and it was the beginning of a personal hell for over 4 months. Our government may have these laws in place yet I was not protected by them during a tramatic event in my life. How can this happen?
MWoods on January 29, 2012:
I have a relative that works for a drs office. She searches the computer everyday for other family members that go to the ER, why they are there, and what they are given, diagnoses and prescriptions. Then she tells other family members that private information. What can I do to make sure she doesn't do this to me?
Dottie on January 26, 2012:
Is it a HIPAA violation for a public school nurse to call a Hospice provider for information regarding a student's parent and after receiving information to go ahead and share it with all the school employees, even the Janitor. This is just disgusting.
Dottie on January 26, 2012:
Is it a HIPPA violation for a public school nurse to call and obtain information from Hospice regarding a parent of a student? And after receiving the information to share it with the staff and employees of the school.....
Jean on January 26, 2012:
Can I mail a reminder card (not in envelope) for WCC for child with their name obviously shown in the address area of the card?
femail on January 25, 2012:
dr required pt to sign forms and pt has no time to read. pt was told they would be given copies in envelope.. pt opened envelope when home and there no papers.suggestions?
concerned observer on January 03, 2012:
if a doctors tech is making a copy of the appointment book and calling patients from their home to confirm appointments...isn't that considered a breech in patient confidentiality and a hipaa violation?
Sharron on December 02, 2011:
I have to email Clinicians from 2 agencies with then names of patients we are going to cover in case conference so that not everyone needs to show up if their patient is not on the list.
I use the last name and first name initals only. Is this a violation of the HIPPA law. I say no, others say yes.
DC on November 26, 2011:
Is it legal for a 'Check-Out' receptionist at a Dr.'s Office to inform the patient that she needs a drug test, and ask the Office manager if she can perfom the test? This was extremely embarrassing. I was not given the opportunity to ask questions, it was not revealed to me in private. I asked the Office manager what I was signing my name to, she said to make sure I am not over doing my meds, and making sure I am not breaking the law, whatever that means. It was extremely uncomfortable to say the least.
james s. on November 15, 2011:
hi shawna wilson my name is james and i went to see my doctor today on 11/15/2011 and well i was an hour late to my appointment well the dr came up front to get her next patient and well i asked if there was any news on my mri of my brain well she had said out loud in the lobby that there was a few things found on my results but she could not see me for 2 weeks just wanting to know of what she did was it illegal cause i think she broke all patient rights by saying it in front of other patients if anyone could help i would really appreciate it thanks
Deborah on October 25, 2011:
if a boyfreind is being given info about a delusioanl pt and nurses not informing family contact about a serious decline and allowing neglect to continue is that a violation of hippa and civil rights?
mek on October 24, 2011:
is it a hippaa violation if the office manager comes out in the waiting room and discusses your co pays and why the doctor will not treat me if I dont pay them before the procedure. The waiting room was filled with patients
charles on October 08, 2011:
is it illegal if I call the nursing home to see how my mother is doin.and they tell me that they cant give out that information because its against the hippa law. I, live 250 miles frome the nursing home. if its illegal can I file a complaint and what agency to I have to contact.
Debbie on August 10, 2011:
Thank your very much for your information on names in a waiting room. It was very helpful as my doctor has a section on his forms referring to just that topic!
BSimpson on July 30, 2011:
I went in for a diagnostic mammogram and after waiting what seemed like forever for results the nurse stood outside the room and called us by name gave our results. I was floored. Granted we were all there for mammograms but to tell us we were fine, had cysts, needed further pictures and so on was just beyond me. I felt like cattle being pushed though. There was no asking questions about MY status, what was seen, what they saw the first time. Is it not breaking HIPAA law to announce our results in front of a room full of people and walk off???
renee on June 23, 2011:
does a nurse have the right to give lab results from you drug testing reults?
Babe on June 23, 2011:
I found out about a week ago that my information was link out verbely by an employee that works at the ob clinc that i go to and thee employee told a patient that gos there as well and that patient told a friend of mine and that friend told me and all the information was true i know that it is a HIPPA violation can i do something
about it and how can i go about???
Lisa P on June 01, 2011:
I filled out a medical release form to have my records transferred to my new OB's office. A few weeks later the old one called to tell me they did not have a release from me to transfer records and I needed to fill one out in order to get them sent. This means they lost my original release form with all my personal info, including social security number. Violation or not b/c I'm about to go nuts on them. Thanks.
Sandra on May 19, 2011:
We are a medical office in building with another medical office. We are separate offices but have a common waiting room and reception area. There is no glass in this area. Are we in HIPPA violation when our receptionist calls and refers patients for procedure or other physicians and they have to give out demographic info and medical info sometimes that can be heard in the wating area as well as by the other office receptionist. Also, she scans in medical records and sometimes leave them out on the desk. Thanks.
mommyof2 on May 15, 2011:
A girl that I was friends with works in a drs office and she recently shared with our circle of friends that a lady who is seen by a dr in her office has aids how would I report her for this she is the receptionist and shouldn't know this kind of information she even told us the patients name
marissa on May 13, 2011:
Not sure if this questions was already asked but, A co-worker of mine has outside friendships with a large majority of patients in our office, to the extent of having them over her house and partying with them. Also her husband is patient there does she violate hipaa in any way?
NVE on May 12, 2011:
If someone, say your mother signs a HIPAA (share form) and allows all 4 of her children access to her health information... is it always "good"? Does it only apply to an individual facility? Does it need to be signed yearly?
janice brash on April 22, 2011:
I work in a dental office and a friend of a friend became a patient of ours. One time she had to cancel an appointment because she was sick and I called my friend to tell her about this and that maybe she could help her as she lives downstairs from the patient. Can I be sued for this for breaking the HIPPA rules?
Suz on April 20, 2011:
I have been mandated to my employers EAP program based on perceptions of mental illness. It states that my supervisor is required to be at the meeting-- is having a third part who is also your direct supervisor a violation of HIPAA laws or the ADA? The sooner the response the better-- Thank you
anonymous on April 15, 2011:
Hi. My primary physician seemed not to believe I was seriously ill for awhile. Turns out I have fybromyalgia, spinal stenosis with nerve damage, hyperglycemia, anemia, hypothyroidism and other chronic conditions. I've been told I need spinal surgery, and probably a hysterectomy. About a year ago, he wrote a pretty nasty narrative, calling it "doctor's notes", described my symptoms as "dramatic", and used several psychiatric terms to label my behavior, which I believe only a psychiatrist is qualified to judge. He included personal information regarding money owed I "felt" was owed to me by my employer. It was - and I eventually received it. Since discovering my numerous conditions, he's been much nicer. I recently retired, applied for disability, and requested my medical records. This terrible narrative was included in my copy of my records, and I believe was sent to Disability. Can you advise?