HIPAA and patient visitors

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by sukmycock00, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. sukmycock00

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    605
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    81
    Verified:
    Photo
    Just a question. My friend's younger brother is gay. He is 17 and dating a 22 year old. I've talked to the kid to try and help him with his sexuality, and we've become decent friends. Anyways, a few weeks ago his father found out he was gay and his parents assaulted him. His father hit him with a hockey stick in the face and his mother verbally bashed him until he ran outside and the neighbors called the cops. He was transported to the nearest Methodist hospital which also happens to be the place where his mother is employed. Everything ended up simmering down, but I have a question. One of the supervisors told his mother, who is also an employee, a distinct physical description and summary of the discussions between the patient and everybody who visited him. This was apparently in effort to find out who the boyfriend was. Does this violate any HIPAA laws, especially since it was known throughout the hospital that he was there for family domestic violence? This hospital has a reputation for valuing the "Methodist" part more than the "hospital" one. What is the best route to file a complaint? There have been no real repercussions from this, the boyfriend wasn't assaulted by the family or anything, but surely this is a problem...I went to visit him also, and the supervisor told his mom my physical description, as well as everything we talked about as she was listening from the nurses station.
     
  2. fullpak

    fullpak Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Syracuse (NY, US)
    As far as I understand it, the hospital should protect all information regarding medical conditions, including demographics in regards to the patient....however, this patient is 17, and in most states he would be considered a minor, and the parent would be able to get all the information and if the parent chose to share information, that would not be in violation of the HIPAA regs

    Since this parent is employed at the hospital...and is not happy about the life style of the patient...and there is a religious affiliation that the parent is part of....I would guess that the parent would disseminate info to try to "help" the patient with this disclosure

    Sad..that parent can't be supportive...
     
  3. sukmycock00

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    605
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    81
    Verified:
    Photo
    Yeah, the kids having a tough bout with this. But doesn't HIPAA stand to protect kids (17 is practically an adult in Texas) when they've been abused by their parents? Surely the law doesn't protect the abuser and the abused in this situation...
     
  4. D_Rosalind Mussell

    D_Rosalind Mussell New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,376
    Likes Received:
    6
    I'm actually studying this and it sounds like a HIPAA violation to me. This is something that the ethics committee should have been contacted about before disclosing any information. While she is his mother, kids are protected by social services from abusive parents all the time and at 17 years old he fell under that right to protection. Was a police report filed for the abuse? Was social services contacted? If there is any backlash towards your friend due to the disclosure of information the hospital will be responsible for it. Here is a link to HIPAA Basics, have your friend take a look at this so he can know his rights. Please keep us posted about your friend, I don't want anything else to happen to him.
     
  5. D_Rosalind Mussell

    D_Rosalind Mussell New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,376
    Likes Received:
    6
    This is where social services should have intervened. He was abused by his parents so social services should have been there at that ER visit. For future reference, please tell you friend to stay away from that hospital and go to another if anything happens again. That way there is no conflict of interest on the hospital's part and his information will be better protected.
     
  6. sukmycock00

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    605
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    81
    Verified:
    Photo
    There was a police report, and social services was contacted. CPS took temporary custody of him in order to make medical decisions for him as he was a minor. The ambulance took him to the hospital in spite of protests, and he received care there. His parents were not allowed to see him, nor were they allowed to even step foot in the emergency room. He was released into the care of a friends family and is doing ok. His parents keep threatening him to take away material possessions and all that, but it's just petty.
     
  7. molotovmuffin

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    7,485
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Female
    Yes... It's a violation of HIPAA law and should be reported to the hospital administration.
     
  8. boerkie

    boerkie New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    west hollywood
    i hope that damn supervisor that is in violation get REAMED!!
    also the parent for facilitating the violation!!!!

    i trust this boi is doing fine.
    if they take his material posessions....this is america.
    he will have ample opportunity to make back and even more.
    the parents ...karma is a big old bitch man!! when that worm turns....
     
    #8 boerkie, Jan 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
Draft saved Draft deleted