I contracted scabies and was treated. Because I am a healthcare professional, my employer called all of my patients and warned them of a possible exposure to scabies. My issue is that my employer told the patients that it was me (used my name) that exposed them. I would think this would be a HIPAA violation as they are not allowed to divulge my medical health information diagnosis to the customers, but rather they were supposed to inform them that “someone on the medical team has been diagnosed with scabies ” and warn them of possible exposure. Is my employer allowed to tell my customers that I was the employee?

Ann Kiernan replies:

Of course not!!! They should have done precisely what you suggest: Tell patients of the exposure to scabies but not who exposed them. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employee medical information must be kept confidential, as well. However, note that HIPAA does allow disclosure of protected health information, without consent of the individual, to public health authorities for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease. (45 CFR §164.512).

Posted 11-15-2016

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