[ Thursday, January 07, 2010 ]
Is this a HIPAA breach?
Governor tweets that he's looking forward to legislature's suggestions for cutting costs. A worker at a state university hospital tweets back, "schedule regular medical exams like everyone else instead of paying [university] employees overtime to do it when clinics are usually closed." Turns out the governor had used a university clinic 3 years ago on a Saturday, resulting in the clinic being staffed when it wouldn't otherwise be staffed.
Yes, it is. The fact that the governor visited the clinic is clearly PHI. This may or may not be a disclosure of that PHI, depending on how oblique you think the reference is, but is certainly is a use of the PHI (the fact of the visit) by the worker. There's no exception for either the disclosure (if there is one) or for the use.
And that's not "slightly snarky;" that's full-blown snark.
Jeff [11:26 AM]
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