Were copies of prescriptions obtained by my employer a Hippa violation if there was no reason to suspect any wrongdoing?

UPDATED: Jan 18, 2011

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Were copies of prescriptions obtained by my employer a Hippa violation if there was no reason to suspect any wrongdoing?

I am an RN in the ED. After a random UDS, I submitted RX’s of medications I take. One of these were given to me by a doctor that I work with. When the hospital saw that the RX was written by an ED doctor, they called the pharmacy that I go to and obtained copies of all the prescriptions the doctor had ever written for me (about 7 over a 4 year period). They approached the doctor and to protect his own license he denied writing any of the RX’s. I was then accused of forging the RX’s and fired. Was this a HIPPA violation – obtaining copies before fraud was substantiated? There was no reason to suspect forgery prior to the doctor’s denial.

Asked on January 18, 2011 under Personal Injury, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Something here is not right.  Violating HIPPA requires that there be some type of transmittal of your health information that is protected under the law without a valid release.  The law applies to "covered agencies."  I believe that there was some violation her and that the hospital misused their authority to request information of the pharmacy who should have checked on this before giving the information over.  I think that you need to seek help from an attorney and discuss not only the HIPPA Violation and filing a complaint but a violation of your right to privacy and a breach of duty cause of action as well as a violation of employment rights.  Good luck.

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