Rebecca went to the dentist for her 6 month cleaning. Within the waiting room, she noticed...

Rebecca went to the dentist for her 6 month cleaning. Within the waiting room, she noticed someone's medical records were left in the lobby. She went to the receptionist to return the records, but the receptionist advised her to put them back and the patient will get them after their appointment. What HIPAA violations were committed in this scenario? Should the dentist office be held responsible for the patient leaving their record? Discuss with your peers if and how the receptionist should be held accountable. Also discuss how the patient's information might be used if stolen.

Homework Answers

Answer #1

The following points may be used and elaborated.

1. Violation of the HIPAA privacy rule is committed in this scenario.

2. Although it is not faulty on the part of the office that the patient left their records unattended, in such a case where medical records are found unattended it becomes the responsibility of the hospital administration to take into custody such documents and store them safely till someone claims them or hand it over to government authorities in case no one turns up to claim the documents, whichever comes first. This, however, depends on state rules.

3. The responsibility of the receptionist, in this situation, would be to collect such documents and store them safely whilst informing administrative authorities of the incident.

4. Stolen patient information can be used to purchase medical equipment, to create fake identification cards or claim unlawful medical insurance

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