Advice about HIPAA issue

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Tam1067, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    Yes she can also decide to get an attorney and sue op for defamation of character (just taking it to an extreme)

    Remember folks the daughter can easily say, "I never said any thing at all". Why should ER mom believe some random 16, 17 year old over any other.

    Folks lets remember op did not directly hear this. she is getting this 2nd, 3rd possible 4th hand.

    Her son told her, not to say he is lying but he too might be ramping this up, after all he is not totally unemotionally involved. On top of that he has said he really does not talk to this girl.

    How is he going to prove to ER mom that her daughter is spreading a rumor?

    Everyone here is automatically assuming that this "girl" definitely said what supposedly she said. with absolutely no proof.

    Call me crazy but if you come to me accusing my son of starting a rumor you'd better have some thing more than, "well sally said, that john said that billy told him".... which is all op has.
     
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  3. wvjules

    wvjules DIS Veteran

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    Ok but how is she even going to know if the woman wrongfully accessed the records if she doesn't ask? All everyone is telling her is to find out first before she takes it any further. Would you suggest doing nothing? I know I'd be pissed if my daughter's medical records were being looked at by someone that had no business looking at them.
     
  4. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    I'm not saying not to ask if it can be done very discretely. I just want to really understand how her source may be percieved.
    yes I'd be pissed if I knew for sure that some one accessed my records without my permission but if my son came home with a "johnny said, that sally said, that paul said" I'm making it up because Paul's mom is a doctor.
    sorry I'd be equally suspect of that source. It could be I'm a bit cynical. I look funny at stories that begin with "my brothers, husbands, 3rd cousin said"

    Just like that old game "telephone". what you hear on one end is rarely what was started at the other end.

    Sure there is always a remote possiblity that the incident occured, there is always a possibility. I hope op gets a favorable resolution.

    Question: if it turns out that the Dr/mom did not access the records and gets an investigation does op have any obligation for starting said investigation on the basis of such flimsy evidence?
     
  5. Jestocost

    Jestocost DIS Veteran

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    Except that HIPAA also specifically bars "covered entities"--which includes doctors--from taking any retaliatory action against any person that files a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights. I would have to imagine that hospital polices for complaints filed with them vs. the OCR need to be aligned with that standard. If not, then the safest course of action may be to file a complaint with the OCR.

    OP, see the link below for information on how to file a complaint with the OCR if it gets to that.

    http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/index.html
     
  6. sunshinehighway

    sunshinehighway DIS Veteran

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    Your other post does read like you are telling her not to ask. You said if she does and it turns out the doctor didn't look at the records, the doctor could sue her. That seems like a pretty good way to try and discourage her from inquiring about it.

    Everyone has certain rights, in this case we are talking about privacy and medical information. If anyone has a question as to whether their rights have been violated, they should absolutely question it with the proper people. They should never be made to feel afraid, (whether its hurting someone's feelings, a lawsuit or anything) stupid, or discouraged from protecting those rights.


    Also, in the OP it states that the son heard it from the girl. That's not a game of telephone.
     
  7. badblackpug

    badblackpug <font color=blue>If you knew her you would be shoc

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    There is no way to "discretely" make an inquiry. Once the hospital administration is involved, it has become a formal investigation. Period.

    I am familiar with teenagers, especially girls. This sounds like a very typical teenage girl drama. Susie dates Billy who is best friends with Joey who is best friends with the kid that got in trouble, and, by extension, feels the need to defend the kid in trouble. these things always spread like this. Teens are not above embellishing. Not to mention, this is, probably, 3rd or 4th person info, and has become a big case of "whisper down the lane."

    In this area, one hospital cannot access the electronic records of another unless they are within the same health system, ie: sister hospitals. I'm seeing that may vary from area to area.

    A concussion would not show up on an initial CT scan. "Scarring" may show up down the line, but with simple concussions the CT scan is almost always clear and "concussion" is diagnosed by symptoms. I have been an ER nurse for a long time, I have never heard the term, "medical concussion."

    It is likely the OPs son came back the next day, and told friends about his ER visit, A told B, wo told C, who told D, who told Girl. Girl told mom, who made an off the cuff comment about CTs and concussions. Girl reported what mom said to D who told C who told B who told A who told the OP's son, and in all of it it got twisted into, "Mary's mom is an ER doctor and she looked at the CT, and said that OP's son is making it all up to get Timmy in trouble."

    Teen girls can be evil, gossipy witches.

    OP, if you really feel strongly you can start an investigation at the mom's hospital, it won't be without repercussions for her, though. Even if it is untrue. There is no way to "discretely" investigate.

    I really think, likely, this is a big case of "who shot John?" Maybe you could approach the mother personally, and gauge where to go from her reaction.
     
  8. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

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    OP hasn't responded in a while. I'm guessing the situation has deescalated and it is being chalked up to carry teenagers.
     
  9. Tam1067

    Tam1067 LOVES LOVES LOVES the Poly

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    I am still trying to decide what to do.

    I want to make it clear that this was not quite a telephone game, or at least if it is a telephone game, it has very few steps. The girl told my son directly, "My mom looked at your CT." He is adamant that she said that specifically.

    The rest of it--you are not really hurt, and all that stuff--I discount as teen garbage. But the fact that the girl told my son specifically that her mother was on the same "system" and looked at the records is what makes me suspicious.

    In my experience, it's one thing to embellish a version of the truth. It's another to make something up entirely, which is why I am inclined to believe there is some truth in it. "My mom looked at your CT" is either true or false; it is not possible to exaggerate that. Or at least I don't think it is.

    That said, I am not completely naive about the motives and drama of teen behavior, which is why I am trying to determine a course of action because if the mom did it, then it's pretty awful.
     
  10. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    Nope, if I didn't think she should inquire I would have said..."I would not if it were me"....

    But I do want her to realize that this is a serious matter on both sides and yes everyone has rights and one of the rights people have is protection against untrue accusation. which is why we have "innocent until PROVEN guilty" and not "innocent until a bunch of rumors are said about you".
    IT's the little thing called proof.
    Now the bottom line she is going on some thing SHE heard 3rd party. Once again, she said this young lady is not her sons friend which would make me question what comes from her. I'm willing to bet that if she was questioned she'd quickly say "I didn't say that". then you are left with "he said, she said".

    Op let me ask, are you going to step up if this story proves false and now this doctor has a potentially damaging investigation in her work history?
     
  11. badblackpug

    badblackpug <font color=blue>If you knew her you would be shoc

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    I would not put it above being a full on lie, said to embarrass or discredit your son. I would really like to think that a professional would not put her license in jeopardy for 2nd hand teen drama.

    Is there any way that you can A) determine if the mother did have the capability to access the records. B) meet with the mother to discuss this and try to gauge from her response if what the daughter said has any truth to it?
     
  12. hiwaygal

    hiwaygal <font color=red>Only someone as wonderful as Donna

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    OP, it does no harm to contact the Privacy Officer or HIPPA Compliance Officer at the Hospital and ask if they can determine who has seen the records. If the other DR looked at them, without cause, she violated the rules and the Hospital will handle it. If the DR didn't look at them, then nothing else will happen. The HIPPA Compliance Officer and the Privacy Officer have to safeguard the information you request as well.
     
  13. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    Excellent post. That's the reason that hospitals have Privacy Officers. They will investigate in a confidential manner and then take the appropriate actions. If there was no violation, the girl's mother will never know you lodged a concern. The Privacy Officer will give you follow-up to let you know the result of his/her investigation.
     
  14. sunshinehighway

    sunshinehighway DIS Veteran

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    Nobody told her to go to the hospital and start accusing the doctor of anything. If she and her son have concerns that his privacy was violated, they have every right to follow up and question if anything did happen.

    Why on earth would the Op need to step up? It was the doctor's own daughter that accused her.

    If she didn't look at the records, there's nothing damaging.
     
  15. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    I do not know specifically how this hospital handles these types of investigations, but at our hospital, nothing would go into the employee's record unless they found evidence of a violation. If there is a violation, it's appropriate that the doctor be disciplined according to hospital policy and documentation be part of her work history. If there is no violation, there shouldn't be anything that gets attached to the physician's record.
     
  16. Eeyore'sthebest

    Eeyore'sthebest DIS Veteran<br><font color=darkorchid>Not So Tagle

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    Excellent advice for the OP. I knew there was a HIPPA officer but never realized it carried such a privacy constraint to it. Good info. Thanks!! :thumbsup2
     
  17. MrsToad

    MrsToad <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    HIPAA doesn't only state who can, and under what circumstances, access a patient's information. HIPAA also states that patients have the right to request an accounting of with whom their information has been shared. I would think the OP, as some other posters have stated, could request the Privacy Officer provide a list of doctors who have accessed her DS' records. This approach would not get the daughter's mother in trouble unless her name is on the report.

    Please forgive me for this, but I wanted to spell out the acronym to help remember it - HIPAA:

    H=Health
    I=Insurance
    P=Portability
    &
    Accountability
    Act
     
  18. hiwaygal

    hiwaygal <font color=red>Only someone as wonderful as Donna

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    Thank you!

    (no snark!)
     
  19. Lorelei Lee

    Lorelei Lee DIS Veteran

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    A sound approach. You get the information you need, you determine if there's been a violation, and then you file a complaint.

    Honestly, if the doctor did this over teenage drama, she deserves the repercussions. But otherwise, what purpose does it serve to exacerbate the drama and gossip?
     
  20. badblackpug

    badblackpug <font color=blue>If you knew her you would be shoc

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    Honestly, and in a perfect world it would work that way, but that is not how it will work, and that is not how hospital administration works.

    When the OP goes to corporate compliance, or whomever, and requests a report the are going to want to know why. They know that she is not just requesting that information because she is curious.

    Hospitals are very worried about litigation, the request will be an all out investigation. The Dr. will be questioned. Even if it is found that she didn't do anything, there will be the assumption that "something" happened.

    For those of you saying she deserves it, regardless, because her daughter said it, that's really unfair. If this woman did nothing, why is she deserving just because her daughter acted like a typical teenaged girl? She had no control over the fact that her teen daughter spouted off at the mouth to impress friends. Especially considering the fact the kid probably doesn't understand HIPAA or it's ramifications towards her mother. She was, probably, trying to look like a big shot.

    If the woman did look at the records, and was stupid enough to talk to a 15 year old girl about it, then, yes, she deserves to be punished, but I would tread lightly considering the professional ramifications this could have.

    Just imagine if everyone believed every single thing one of our kids said about us?
     
  21. ColoradoDisneyFreaks

    ColoradoDisneyFreaks DIS Veteran

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    If the administration asks why, the OP just has to say I'm verifying who has had access to my son's information. There doesn't need to be any additional information provided.
     

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