Home | 3/14/2019 Issue | Article

Discussing appointments of friends and family in a doctor's office

Effective Mar 14, 2019
Published Mar 18, 2019
Last Reviewed Mar 14, 2019
Question: At the doctor’s office where I work, the patients are often the friends or family members of staff members who assist with the exams. Yesterday, a coworker and I were preparing the charts for the day with our assigned doctor, and my coworker, Jane, told me that one of the patients we were seeing that day was the boyfriend of another coworker, Jill. Later, I happened to be having lunch with Jill in our break room, and she was talking about her boyfriend. I mentioned to her that Jane told me Jill’s boyfriend was coming in for his appointment and asked if Jill was planning on assisting his doctor during the exam. Jill was furious at Jane’s disclosure and said that she would be filing a formal complaint regarding a HIPAA violation. Is this really a HIPAA violation? Could my job really be in jeopardy?

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