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    dabean's Avatar
    dabean Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Sep 19, 2013, 04:26 PM
    HIPPA and my pharmacy
    I use a pharmacy in confidence and do not share that information with any member of my family including my wife. My account at the pharmacy was past due and comptroller of the pharmacy took the information off my account to look up my wives information and contact her. The pharmacy informed my wife that I had a prescription purchase on my account and asked her to make payment for me. They also went on to tell her that I had a history of prescription purchases at the pharmacy. Isn't this a violation of my privacy through HIPPA?
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,760, Reputation: 5426
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    #2

    Sep 19, 2013, 04:43 PM
    Did the pharmacy tell her what drugs were being taken? Why didn't the pharmacy contact you, or were they trying to and she answered the phone?
    dabean's Avatar
    dabean Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Sep 19, 2013, 04:45 PM
    *HIPAA... oops.
    dabean's Avatar
    dabean Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Sep 19, 2013, 04:48 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    Did the pharmacy tell her what drugs were being taken? Why didn't the pharmacy contact you, or were they trying to and she answered the phone?
    They called on her cell phone, asked for her and emailed on her personal email. The pharmacy looked up her information through a church list that the pharmacy had access to through the comptroller.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,760, Reputation: 5426
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    #5

    Sep 19, 2013, 04:51 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by dabean View Post
    They called on her cell phone, asked for her and emailed on her personal email. The pharmacy looked up her information through a church list that the pharmacy had access to through the comptroller.
    You are their customer. Where were you?
    dabean's Avatar
    dabean Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Sep 19, 2013, 04:54 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    You are their customer. Where were you?
    At work. The pharmacy left a message on my phone and tried to contact me.
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,825, Reputation: 2035
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    #7

    Sep 19, 2013, 05:03 PM
    So they called your cell phone and left a message and then called your wife's phone and talked to her? OR they called a home phone that either you or your wife would have answered?
    dabean's Avatar
    dabean Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Sep 19, 2013, 05:07 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by N0help4u View Post
    So they called your cell phone and left a message and then called your wife's phone and talked to her? OR they called a home phone that either you or your wife would have answered?
    And again- they called her cell and sent correspondence to her personal email they researched from a church list.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #9

    Sep 19, 2013, 05:13 PM
    I would say from what you say that it was a minor violation.
    I'm not sure what you want to do. HIPAA reports take a very long time to be read, most are denied, and don't get you damages. Fines have been levied against large institutions such as a university that allowed too much access to electronic information to people who shouldn't have had access - that is mainly what HIPAA is for. Transmission of medical information between medical providers, insurers, pharmacies, and so on. Not calling a spouse to say her husband owes money.
    What do you want done?
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,760, Reputation: 5426
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    #10

    Sep 19, 2013, 05:14 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by dabean View Post
    And again- they called her cell and sent correspondence to her personal email they researched from a church list.
    Did they tell her the name(s) of the drug(s) you are taking?
    dabean's Avatar
    dabean Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #11

    Sep 19, 2013, 05:29 PM
    No, the name of the drug was not released. The pharmacy gave a description of the symptoms for what I am being treated for... and made some other diagnostic commentary.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,760, Reputation: 5426
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    #12

    Sep 19, 2013, 05:33 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by dabean View Post
    No, the name of the drug was not released. The pharmacy gave a description of the symptoms for what I am being treated for...and made some other diagnostic commentary.
    Reporting on symptoms or a diagnosis isn't part of asking for payment. What does the pharmacy say now?
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,825, Reputation: 2035
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    #13

    Sep 19, 2013, 05:37 PM
    It was definitely unethical for them to mention symptoms.
    dabean's Avatar
    dabean Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Sep 19, 2013, 05:39 PM
    They are insistent they were extending a courtesy by contacting my wife.
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,825, Reputation: 2035
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    #15

    Sep 19, 2013, 05:43 PM
    Tell them you are extending a courtesy by letting them know you are changing pharmacies
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,760, Reputation: 5426
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    #16

    Sep 19, 2013, 05:47 PM
    And I'd contact the owner/manage to tell him he needs to instruct his staff on HIPAA.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #17

    Sep 19, 2013, 05:58 PM
    I'm not so sure this is a HIPAA violation. Your account was delinquent, the pharmacy is entitled to any legal means to collect. Trying to contact you through your wife, may not be nice, but its not illegal.

    Mentioning symptoms may have stepped over the line, but since you don't know the exact conversation, reporting it as a violation, is unlikely to get you anywhere.

    Next time you want to keep secrets from your wife, make sure you pay your bills.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #18

    Sep 20, 2013, 02:18 AM
    I don't know any pharmacies that extend credit anymore, and I live in a small town. I have a feeling that you are in a small town. I find it unconscionable that you would look for retribution for not paying your debts. At best, with a lot of work, you could get the pharmacist's license revoked. Way to go!

    When I went home to my elderly parents' small town I got Lyme. Their doctor called the house and told whoever answered the phone the test results, something I wanted kept secret because I knew my mother would blame it all on my dog. I was furious but let it go.

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