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Boss violating Hippa?

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Junior Member
Washington State.

Profession: Nurse

date of employment: Sept 2007-current

1) Last week my boss stopped me in the hallway and said, "I was going through your medical files to make sure all of your immunizations are up to date and I noticed your Dr is Dr _____. We have the same doctor!!" So apparently my boss and I have the same doctor, but I do not feel it is her right to know who my doctor is, let alone confront me. I feel very exposed and that my rights have been violated. She has no business going through my medical file and informing me of such things. is this a breach of confidentiality?

2) my therapist referred this job to me by one of her other clients. I called my now boss and interviewed, and got this job. a few months into working there, say nov of 2007, I left my cellphone in the locker room. another nurse picked it up, looked at the contact list, and saw the name of my therapist. she came to me saying, "you left your phone in the locker. i knew it was your phone because I saw (therapist's name) in it and knew that you see this therapist". is this a breach of confidentiality?

3) this same boss recently was promoted to the nurse manager(before she was charge nurse). i was out of town when this happened, so she called me up and told me of her promotion. She told me that she'd be getting paid more money a few times, and that she'd be salaried. I know that's not illegal, but still very unprofessional for her to be telling me her salary.

I plan to talk to her bosses about all of this, but just was wondering if any of this is illegal.


1) Why does your boss have access to your medical files? Was it part of your job requirement to submit them? HIPAA only applies to healthcare providers, insurers, and billing companies. Unless your boss also happens to be your healthcare provider, she wouldn't be covered by HIPAA. Even if she was covered by HIPAA, she did not violate it by disclosing protected information to an unathorized third party.

2) How did the nurse know about your therapist? Is she entitled to look at your medical records?

3) She's happy because she got a promotion. Good for her.


I'm a Northern Girl
And it's HIPAA, not HIPPA.

If the medical profession can't spell it right....


Senior Member
Seems she had a valid reason to be looking at your medical file (to check your immunizations) and the only person she discussed it with (to your knowledge) is YOU.

The nurse who knew you were seeing the therapist could have heard about it from the OTHER nurse who is also a patient, or anyone else who knew about the referral. The name of the person who referred you to the position is not protected info. If that person happens to be a therapist, and someone might happen to extrapolate that you are a patient, oh well, still not protected info. Who cares if you are seeing a therapist anyway? I'd say about 90% of the country is either seeing a therapist, or SHOULD be seeing a therapist!

The fact that your boss got a promotion and a raise is NOT protected, and even if it was, it's her info to share if she wants. It may have been unprofessional, but until you become HER boss, that's really not your call to make.


Senior Member
1) Your boss apparently had a valid reason to check your medical file to ensure your vaccinations were up to date. So what if you happen to have the same doctor.

2) Don't leave your cell phone laying around if you want to keep your personal info personal.

3) Unprofessional but that's all it is.

I plan to talk to her bosses about all of this, but just was wondering if any of this is illegal. I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

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