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    cooper33's Avatar
    cooper33 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #1

    Feb 28, 2014, 09:15 PM
    HIPAA violation?
    I was terminated from a hospital that I had been employed at for 17 yrs. A fellow employee (C) in my department that I rarely see came into the department by letting herself into the front doors (Using id badge swipe). She and two other employees(M and S) went into one of the Ultrasound rooms and shut the door. I thought they were having a private conversation.We never shut the door to the ultrasund room when scanning a patient. When S came out of the room I heard a ping from the US machine as it was taking a picture. I then asked S if C was pregnant. The look on her face made me think that the scan was being done under the table. S told me that she did not know. That evening I was called in to work. C's husband works with us as well. We were talking and I asked if she was pregnant. We are a very close knit department. He said she was. I was very happy for them. We had a small discussion about it and then I left. C has shared very personal medical information with me in the past so I didn't even think aout asking him this question. The following day I was asked by M(the US tech who did C's exam) to look at the exam. She needed my opinion. I asked her if it was an actual on the books exam. She stated that it was. That was the first time that I knew she was a patient. It was a non-viable pregnancy. I never mentioned the exam again. Two months later I was terminated for a HIPAA violation. I was not asked my version. I was told that because I asked about her condition I violated HIPAA. Is this accurate?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692
    Expert
     
    #2

    Feb 28, 2014, 09:54 PM
    No, it is not, asking someone if a person was pregnant, is not a violation,

    If you told someone she was pregnant, based on charts and medical data , it would be.

    You should have appealed, for several reasons, first they are required to do a proper investigation, obviously this was not done, since you were not asked about it.

    You would appeal this, you may want to consider hiring an attorney since you will want your job back, plus any back pay, and you want this cleared from your record. This may stop you from getting future jobs in the field.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #3

    Mar 1, 2014, 05:31 AM
    While I mostly agree with Chuck, the way I read this, is you used knowledge gained while working at your job for personal purposes. That could be considered a HIPAA violation. I just don't think its close to enough to terminate a 17 yr employee on its own.

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