# Hippa Violation Or Privacy Law Violation?

My ex boyfriend got me pregnant and left me at four months. I have many physical problems and he had his friend who is a pharmicist look up my perscriptions (I live 40 miles away from that store location and have never been there) and then the pharmacisit shared all the information. Can I do anything legally to the pharmacy or the pharmicist? Are we just supposed to report these violations and let them keep happening and get nothing for it? Please respond to me. Please do not attach any answers because you know how back opening attachments are- not that I don't trust people that would anser me it's just there are those wackos out there. Please respond. I have had hippa violations happen over and over but this is the worst. There must be something I could do. I really liked his friend but to share private information knowing you could not do that- that's too much power for a person to wield if they can't keep privacy. Privacy law- is it a violation of a privacy law? Who would be a good lawyer if I did have a case? I can't afford much. My email is:

Last edited by J_9; May 31, 2007 at 09:08 PM.
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 wynelle Posts: 184, Reputation: 21 Junior Member #2 May 30, 2007, 10:33 PM
Originally Posted by jen25ohio
Please respond to me. Please do not attach any answers because you know how back opening attachments are- not that I don't trust people that would anser me it's just there are those wackos out there.
I have no idea what you mean by back-opening attachments.

How do you know this pharmacist looked up your prescriptions?

HIPAA has been a way of life for several years. Why have you not brought charges before?

You do realize that you sound a bit paranoid?
 chippers Posts: 440, Reputation: 88 Full Member #3 May 30, 2007, 10:43 PM
It's a violation of the hippa act. If you can prove it you can sue the pharmacy and your ex and his friend can be held liable. The pharmacy computor can tell when someone's been looking up information on which patient and who's doing it. With your situation, you can seek help from legal aide. Check out health care facilities for prenatal care and social services for assistance. Once the baby is born go for child support. Also, I'd change pharmacies if I were you. It would take care of a llot of your trouble.
 jen25ohio Posts: 5, Reputation: 1 New Member #4 May 31, 2007, 06:51 AM
 shygrneyzs Posts: 5,017, Reputation: 936 Uber Member #5 May 31, 2007, 07:00 AM
So you do not use the Walgreen's Pharmacy that your boyfriend had his friend look your medications? I guess that does not matter - there was a clear violation of your privacy rights. Where did you report this before? Did you report this to the state's Pharmacy Board? Did you contact an attorney? If you want to pursue this, you need some legal aid. Get everything you have said down in order. From first step to last. Detailed, exact, precise and with as many names as possible.

You asked about chain pharmacies - yes - they can pull information about a person even if they do not use that store. CVS Pharmacy does it, because I have needed to do that for my son. But I have had to about give a pint of blood and a pound of flesh before they believed I was my son's Mother. Even then, I had to go home and get a copy of my son's guardianship papers showing that I am his legal guardian, before they would transfer information from one of their pharmacies to the one I was going to change to (because it was closer to home). But there is nothing preventing an employee in one store accessing information about a person's prescriptions. Nothing but their oath to preserve the client's right to privacy.

Get an attorney and nail whoever you want to the wall.
 chippers Posts: 440, Reputation: 88 Full Member #6 May 31, 2007, 08:52 PM
It doesn't matter if she used a chain pharmacy or not. If she has any type of insurance or even a social security number. One pharmacy can trace prescription purchases by the I.D. numbers. This is one way phramacies can track patients that phartmacy shop for narcotic presriptions. As a nurse I've seen thses practices done. If her boyfriend asked the friend whose a pharamcist, this is one way he can check unfortunately. Like I said If she can prove an employee of walgreens did this (by checking computor script logs. Each employee has to enter an I.D. code to access the computer) If she sees an attorney, they can subpena the logs. Then they can go after the pharmacist and the pharmacy. They can be held liabel.
Even in a hospital setting, I can't access a patient I am not caring for. If I do I have to have a good reason or its my license.

The only pharmacy I remember anything like that was a cvs when a husband soon to be ex went to the store got a print out of his soon to be ex's script history. Apparently she was on antidepreeants which don't mean much these days ( allot of people are on them and does not mean a psych history). When it was presented at court, judge deemed it obtained illegally, wife sued the pharmacy and won a liabel case.
The hippa law was originated in part due to a famous tennis player, arthur ashe, who acquired aides through a blood transfusion. His records were sold to a newspaper who published it.
In hospitals we would have people just walk up and take the chart of someone they wanted to know somehting about. Family members would grab them and read what was going on. Hippa prevents that.
They would say they had power of attorney and had the right to do that. We would say, their power of attorney comes into play when the patient can't speak for themselves.
 jen25ohio Posts: 5, Reputation: 1 New Member #7 Jun 1, 2007, 06:13 AM
The only thing is Walgreen's is telling me once the pharmacist logged into his computer and since I was a customer there he had to pull me from his centralized system. This lets him view my record. But they tell my there is no way to tell that he did it because their system doesn't enable them to take a record of the person who pulls that record. That's scary and sounds like BS. To prevent this I was told you had to put a lock on your account. I already had id verification put onto my profile and it was known then that I didn't want my prescriptions to go out to anyone else, or info. To be shared but they say threat only prevents others from picking up their prescriptions. If anything I think Walgreen's (if those records are not traceable) should be held liable for not informing me of this information. I had the id check put on to prevent a certain person (different man) from accessing my information and prescriptions therefore they should have told me about this lock at that time. Is that failure to inform? I have always been very protective of my prescription records that's why this is such a big deal.
 wynelle Posts: 184, Reputation: 21 Junior Member #8 Jun 1, 2007, 07:12 AM
If this man acknowledges that he looked up your personal data for an uninvolved party (ie your ex-boyfriend), then he could be held liable for a HIPAA violation.

First and foremost, proving he did this. You only have your ex-boyfriend's recanted statement.

Second, how and why would the ex-boyfriend even know you were taking all these medications if you haven't seen him in over a year? Since he was making absolutely no attempt to be involved in your life, why would he have any reason to go have someone look-up your prescription history?

Third, you need to find an attorney to represent you regarding the child support issue. Your prescription history should have no impact on your receiving child support, unless the ex-boyfriend decided to sue you for custody. If you have a significant enough history of mental disorders that include instability and institutionalizations, he might be able to get shared custody, but the purloined prescriptions very likely will not be accepted in court.

In terms of the HIPAA violation, it seems that either Walgreens is very lax in their adherence, or they don't believe your story that the pharmacist told a third party. To sue them, you might have to prove damages to you. What damages do you have? Were you fired? Publicly demeaned, so that you lost your job or home?
 chippers Posts: 440, Reputation: 88 Full Member #9 Jun 1, 2007, 01:57 PM
Originally Posted by wynelle
If this man acknowledges that he looked up your personal data for an uninvolved party (ie your ex-boyfriend), then he could be held liable for a HIPAA violation.

First and formost, proving he did this. You only have your ex-boyfriend's recanted statement.

Second, how and why would the ex-boyfriend even know you were taking all these medications if you haven't seen him in over a year? Since he was making absolutely no attempt to be involved in your life, why would he have any reason to go have someone look-up your prescription history?

Third, you need to find an attorney to represent you regarding the child support issue. Your prescription history should have no impact on your receiving child support, unless the ex-boyfriend decided to sue you for custody. If you have a significant enough history of mental disorders that include instability and institutionalizations, he might be able to get shared custody, but the purloined prescriptions very likely will not be accepted in court.

In terms of the HIPAA violation, it seems that either Walgreens is very lax in their adherence, or they don't believe your story that the pharmacist told a third party. To sue them, you might have to prove damages to you. What damages do you have? Were you fired? Publicly demeaned, so that you lost your job or home?

The damages were, her records were made available to a party not involved with her meds. As she stated, the meds he received knowledge of were meds taken prior to pregnancy.and as far as she stated he used those med records to try and treathen her by taking custody of the child so she would back off. As far as him knowing her meds, he didn't need to as long as he know which pharmacy she used. He probably went to his friend and said look she's giving me grief, can you do me a favor...
 jen25ohio Posts: 5, Reputation: 1 New Member #10 Jun 5, 2007, 06:09 AM
What if I turned them in and hypothetically they returned my call, said they found the pharmacist who did it, and they apologized for violating my hippa rights. What then- hypothetically?
 jen25ohio Posts: 5, Reputation: 1 New Member #11 Jun 5, 2007, 06:11 AM
What could this all possibily lead to if it went to court- if they admitted it was done by their employee- and what if it stayed out of court- what could I see? These records were used to extort, harass and keep me from pursuing the third party for child support. The person is his best friend- Walgreens is liable also?
 MacDude Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #12 Apr 9, 2009, 09:36 AM
Bottom line the pharmacist was plain wrong and could face serious fines and even jail time.

Penalties for HIPAA Violations

HIPAA calls for civil and criminal penalties for privacy and security violations, including: -- fines up to $25K for multiple violations of the same standard in a calendar year - fines up to$250K and/or imprisonment up to 10 years for knowing misuse of individually identifiable health information.
 twinkiedooter Posts: 12,172, Reputation: 1054 Uber Member #13 Apr 9, 2009, 03:15 PM

Go to the child support office and file for child support if you know where he now resides.
 LawProf Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #14 Apr 25, 2011, 03:07 PM
IF a pharmacist gave a friend protected health care information, the pharmacist faces up to TEN years in prison and $250,000.00 in criminal fines, as this would constitute the worst type of HIPAA violation, to wit, one in which individually identifiable health information was used for commercial gain or malicious harm. Even a "simple" offense -- meaning health care information was disseminated not for the purpose of diagnosis, treatment or billing -- carries a fine of up to$100,000.00 and a year in prison. HIPAA is a very serious piece of legislation and should be taken seriously. If the pharmacist did as you say, he or she should be behind bars.
 angela j Posts: 2, Reputation: 1 New Member #15 Jul 7, 2011, 11:28 AM
I work at a nursing home and I called in last week spoke to the d.o.n. and the next day a can was spreading my business with other cna's the only person I spoke to was the d.o.n. and when I found out that my business was all over the building I asked the d.o.n. how was my business out and she said she didn't know and denied that she told any one what rights do I have?
 AK lawyer Posts: 12,592, Reputation: 977 Expert #16 Jul 7, 2011, 11:45 AM
Originally Posted by angela j
i work at a nursing home and i called in last week spoke to the d.o.n. and the next day a cna was spreading my business with other cna's the only person i spoke to was the d.o.n. and when i found out that my business was all over the building i asked the d.o.n. how was my business out and she said she didnt know and denied that she told any one what rights do i have?

What sort of information is it that you describe as "my business"? If you work at the nursing home, and are not a patient, I am not sure that whatever it is would constitute information protected by HIPAA.
 michnrse Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #17 Mar 12, 2012, 03:06 AM
It doesn't matter. If a Hippa Violation has occurred the government will take over and WalGreen will be fined. The Pharmacist, and yes they can pull who did it" can be fired, fined, and even jailed. All electronic records are traceable no matter what WalGreen told you. Like many others stated. Write what happened down. In order, by date, with no emotion involved. Hippa violations are taken very seriously.

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