Doctor Broke Patient Confidentuality

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by IndianPrincess, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. IndianPrincess

    IndianPrincess New Member

    Several weeks ago I went to see a doctor upon my boyfriend's recommendation - his doctor.

    He didn't take my history, kept his nose in the computer reviewing my records from previous visits at hospital and other doctors within the system.

    Rather than talk to me regarding my health he brought up issues with my man's health asking me personal questions about my relationship and "Did (I) know that....?"

    He did a physical on me which lasted 5 minutes!

    Then he told me that my health problems were my fault. I went off on him BIG TIME!!!!! How are the symptoms of Fibro, CFS, a sleep disorder MY FAULT?

    I told him about my battle to remain employed, being denied reasonable accommodation, physical therapy, losing my job because I couldn't remember how to do it, all the horror stories PLUS dealing with doctors who seemed to resent that I knew more than they did.

    Then I asked him what latest research paper he has read.

    Blank stare then he said, "You know nothing can be done about this!"

    He is an Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. Now there's a scarey thought!

    Now, what would you do? Report him? I'm not going back unless to confront him. My boyfriend has an appointment coming up and he is going to call this doctor on the floor about breaking confidentiality!

    [This Message was Edited on 07/20/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 07/21/2006]
  2. IndianPrincess

    IndianPrincess New Member

  3. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    This is a federal offense.

  4. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    a Covered Entity (meaning that his business does covered transactions transmitted in electronic form) not all physician's are Cover Entities.

    Please refer to the site below for any links in the article which tells you how to file a complaint. I hope you have good luck.

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services • Office for Civil Rights



    If you believe that a person, agency or organization covered under the HIPAA Privacy Rule ("a covered entity") violated your (or someone else's ) health information privacy rights or committed another violation of the Privacy Rule, you may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

    OCR has authority to receive and investigate complaints against covered entities related to the Privacy Rule. A covered entity is a health plan, health care clearinghouse, and any health care provider who conducts certain health care transactions electronically.

    For more information about the Privacy Rule, please look at our responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and our Privacy Guidance. (See the web link near the bottom of this form.)

    Complaints to the Office for Civil Rights must: (1) Be filed in writing, either on paper or electronically; (2) name the entity that is the subject of the complaint and describe the acts or omissions believed to be in violation of the applicable requirements of the Privacy Rule; and (3) be filed within 180 days of when you knew that the act or omission complained of occurred.

    OCR may extend the 180-day period if you can show "good cause." Any alleged violation must have occurred on or after April 14, 2003 (on or after April 14, 2004 for small health plans), for OCR to have authority to investigate.

    Anyone can file written complaints with OCR by mail, fax, or email. If you need help filing a complaint or have a question about the complaint form, please call this OCR toll free number: 1-800-368-1019.

    OCR has ten regional offices, and each regional office covers certain states. You should send your complaint to the appropriate OCR Regional Office, based on the region where the alleged violation took place.

    Use the OCR Regions list at the end of this Fact Sheet, or you can look at the regional office map to help you determine where to send your complaint. Complaints should be sent to the attention off the appropriate OCR Regional Manager.

    You can submit your complaint in any written format. We recommend that you use the OCR Health Information Privacy Complaint Form which can be found on our web site or at an OCR Regional office.

    If you prefer, you may submit a written complaint in your own format. Be sure to include the following information in your written complaint:

    Your name, full address, home and work telephone numbers, email address.

    If you are filing a complaint on someone's behalf, also provide the name of the person on whose behalf you are filing.

    Name, full address and phone of the person, agency or organization you believe violated your (or someone else's) health information privacy rights or committed another violation of the Privacy Rule.

    Briefly describe what happened. How, why, and when do believe your (or someone else's) health information privacy rights were violated, or the Privacy Rule otherwise was violated?

    Any other relevant information.

    Please sign your name and date your letter.

    The following information is optional:

    Do you need special accommodations for us to communicate with you about this complaint?

    If we cannot reach you directly, is there someone else we can contact to help us reach you?

    Have you filed your complaint somewhere else?

    The Privacy Rule, developed under authority of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), prohibits the alleged violating party from taking retaliatory action against anyone for filing a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights. You should notify OCR immediately in the event of any retaliatory action.

    To submit a complaint with OCR, please use one of the following methods. If you mail or fax the complaint, be sure to follow the instructions above for determining the correct regional office.

    Option 1: Open and print out the Health Information Privacy Complaint Form in PDF format (you will need Adobe Reader software) and fill it out. Return the completed complaint to the appropriate OCR Regional Office by mail or fax.

    Option 2: Download the Health Information Privacy Complaint Form in Microsoft Word format to your own computer, fill out and save the form using Microsoft Word. Use the Tab and Shift/Tab on your keyboard to move from field to field in the form.

    Then, you can either: (a) print the completed form and mail or fax it to the appropriate OCR Regional Office; or (b) email the form to OCR at

    Option 3: If you choose not to use the OCR-provided Health Information Privacy Complaint Form (although we recommend that you do), please provide the information specified above and either: (a) send a letter or fax to the appropriate OCR Regional Office; or (b) send an email OCR at

    If you require an answer regarding a general health information privacy question, please view our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you still need assistance, you may call OCR (toll-free) at: 1-866-627-7748. You may also send an email to with suggestions regarding future FAQs. Emails will not receive individual responses.


    OCR Regional Addresses

    Region I - CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    JFK Federal Building - Room 1875
    Boston, MA 02203
    (617) 565-1340; (617) 565-1343 (TDD)
    (617) 565-3809 FAX Region VI - AR, LA, NM, OK, TX

    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    1301 Young Street - Suite 1169
    Dallas, TX 75202
    (214) 767-4056; (214) 767-8940 (TDD)
    (214) 767-0432 FAX
    Region II - NJ, NY, PR, VI

    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    26 Federal Plaza - Suite 3313
    New York, NY 10278
    (212) 264-3313; (212) 264-2355 (TDD)
    (212) 264-3039 FAX Region VII - IA, KS, MO, NE

    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    601 East 12th Street - Room 248
    Kansas City, MO 64106
    (816) 426-7278; (816) 426-7065 (TDD)
    (816) 426-3686 FAX
    Region III - DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV

    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    150 S. Independence Mall West - Suite 372
    Philadelphia, PA 19106-3499
    (215) 861-4441; (215) 861-4440 (TDD)
    (215) 861-4431 FAX Region VIII - CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY

    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    1961 Stout Street - Room 1426
    Denver, CO 80294
    (303) 844-2024; (303) 844-3439 (TDD)
    (303) 844-2025 FAX
    Region IV - AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN

    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    61 Forsyth Street, SW. - Suite 3B70
    Atlanta, GA 30323
    (404) 562-7886; (404) 331-2867 (TDD)
    (404) 562-7881 FAX Region IX - AZ, CA, HI, NV, AS, GU,

    The U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island Jurisdictions
    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    50 United Nations Plaza - Room 322
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 437-8310; (415) 437-8311 (TDD)
    (415) 437-8329 FAX
    Region V - IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI

    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    233 N. Michigan Ave. - Suite 240
    Chicago, IL 60601
    (312) 886-2359; (312) 353-5693 (TDD)
    (312) 886-1807 FAX Region X - AK, ID, OR, WA

    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    2201 Sixth Avenue - Mail Stop RX-11
    Seattle, WA 98121
    (206) 615-2290; (206) 615-2296 (TDD)
    (206) 615-2297 FAX

    Good luck,

    Karen :)

  5. IndianPrincess

    IndianPrincess New Member

    I will follow everyone's advice!

    I know a professor at Case who is a pathologist. I will ask him who I need to contact over there.

    I will also write a letter to MetroHealth about him too before I write to the State Medical Board. I will see how they handle this.


    P.S. Karen, thanks for the links![This Message was Edited on 07/22/2006]

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