(©2005 SEAK, Inc.) Executive Summary Claims and lawsuits alleging sexual harassment can be among the most daunting and potentially devastating claims affecting physicians, both in their capacity as an employer and as a health care professional.Any multiemployee office should have a written employee policy handbook that includes a section on sexual harassment.
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From time to time I visit physician offices, whether for client meetings, appointments as a patient, or even just to accompany another family member.
I usually cannot help myself from evaluating the practice from the perspective of a visitor and am often surprised at what I see, specifically with regard to patient privacy and HIPAA concerns. At one office I was greeted by a beautiful bulletin board that welcomed new patients to the practice, identifying the patient by the patient’s full name and town.
Sometimes an individual does not want family members to know the details. Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule permit a doctor to discuss a patient's health status, treatment, or payment arrangements with the patient's family and friends? If the patient is present, or is otherwise available prior to the disclosure, and has the capacity to make health care decisions, the covered entity may discuss this information with the family and these other persons if the patient agrees or, when given the opportunity, does not object. It is not a HIPAA violation to view your own medical record, however it is a UTMC policy violation.
Am I permitted to look up my sick father's medical record? While parents usually want family involvement in their treatment, it shouldn't be assumed. The HIPAA Privacy Rule specifically permits covered entities to share information that is directly relevant to the involvement of a spouse, family members, friends, or other persons identified by a patient, in the patient’s care or payment for health care.
Frances complained to a nursing supervisor at the hospital, which sent her a letter of apology in March 2014.
“Please know that we take these types of situations very seriously,” the letter said.
Me: March 5, 1990 (I wish)Staff: Is your name Ericka Adler? Me: Yes Staff: Are you still with Blue Cross Blue Shield?
Me: Yes In this one conversation, overheard by everyone, information is revealed that is protected health information under HIPAA and which could be used for identity theft.
Therefore, the employer should take seriously any report of sexual harassment by a coworker against another coworker, whether supervisory or not.
Also, the employer should document the report in writing, including who said what, and what corrective action, if any, the employer will be taking.
We know that diagnoses and test results are confidential. Essentially any information that is patient-identifiable, even the patient's address, is confidential and must be protected.