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    ERH81's Avatar
    ERH81 Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Feb 13, 2015, 04:57 AM
    HIPAA violation or no?
    I worked with a gentlemen who passed away. He was very open about his illness. My only knowledge of his illness is through him disclosing it to myself & another coworker in a personal conversation. I wrote a farewell message, briefly mentioning cancer on my personal social networking page. Some coworkers have gone to my boss & stated that I violated HIPAA because at my job, I help verify that members (not coworkers, as was he) are eligible for health insurance.
    I do not work with medical claims. I have never seen any of this person's private health records, nor worked on his insurance eligibility. My database does not even contain diagnosis info or medically specific info. I deleted the post and my whole page. Can I lose my job or face legal trouble for this? What can I do?

    I should also say that he told us this info in casual conversation, outside of work, in no way related to anything regarding work.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #2

    Feb 13, 2015, 06:56 AM
    Unless you can prove that you obtained info about his diagnosis directly from him and voluntarily, or that you have no access to diagnosis info from the medical records you have access to, you could be in trouble. But from what you have said, you don't have such access.

    It sounds like some of your co-workers have it in for you, maybe over the OT issue.
    ERH81's Avatar
    ERH81 Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Feb 13, 2015, 07:20 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottGem View Post
    Unless you can prove that you obtained info about his diagnosis directly from him and voluntarily, or that you have no access to diagnosis info from the medical records you have access to, you could be in trouble. But from what you have said, you don't have such access.

    It sounds like some of your co-workers have it in for you, maybe over the OT issue.
    You are quite perceptive. They are digging.

    I can prove that the information was not obtained in any way in relation to my job.

    There was someone else with us when the gentlemen shared his story with us, outside of work. Who verifies this info was obtained through personal correspondence.
    So sad.
    AK lawyer's Avatar
    AK lawyer Posts: 12,592, Reputation: 977
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    #4

    Feb 13, 2015, 08:58 AM
    HIPAA violation or no?
    No.

    Can I lose my job or face legal trouble for this?
    Can you be sued or prosecuted? No. Can you loose your job? If your job is "at will" (and most are), perhaps.
    ERH81's Avatar
    ERH81 Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Feb 13, 2015, 11:39 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by AK lawyer View Post
    No.



    Can you be sued or prosecuted? No. Can you loose your job? If your job is "at will" (and most are), perhaps.
    Would I have a case against the company or anyone else if I was fired stemming from these false accusations?
    As Scott mentioned above, these accusations are ultimately rooted in the ire around me questioning procedures that violate wage and hour laws.
    I've apparently made enemies and they're looking for anything, even the death of a sweet man.
    I've got money tied up in retirement plans that is not yet vested that I stand to lose here so I'm trying to tread lightly.
    I didn't expect the private wage & hour conversation to leave my bosses office, but it did.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #6

    Feb 13, 2015, 12:22 PM
    If you can prove you were fired for committing a HIPAA violation and this is the violation, you might have a case. But that's not going to be easy. They can fire you for almost any reason. They can trump up something that would be hard for you to disprove.
    AK lawyer's Avatar
    AK lawyer Posts: 12,592, Reputation: 977
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    #7

    Feb 13, 2015, 12:41 PM
    Would I have a case against the company or anyone else if I was fired stemming from these false accusations?
    Probably. It's called defamation.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,328, Reputation: 10855
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    #8

    Feb 13, 2015, 01:51 PM
    I doubt if they fired you that they would word the reason in a way you could easily profit from.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #9

    Feb 13, 2015, 02:35 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by talaniman View Post
    I doubt if they fired you that they would word the reason in a way you could easily profit from.
    Bingo!

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