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HIPPA Act

 

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Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

There are many interpretations of the HIPPA laws. I do know that we are required in fire departments to have every firefighter sign an oath of secrecy with respect to patient confidentiality when we are at a medical emergency. This is specifically stated in a letter from the NYS Dept. of Health quoting the Federal HIPPA Laws. I really think you need to be very cautious about revealing anything regarding inmates as a CO, you certainly do not want to be hauled into Federal court trying to explain why you were talking about an inmate who has AIDS, VD, etc. It is much safer in my opinion to let the nurses and doctors discuss such issues with inmates.Hospitals are very fussy about HIPPA laws, that’s why they will not reveal the condition of any patient outside the knowledge of the family.

 
Male user CplFisette 1 post

While I agree with you that those kinds of statements should be withheld simply out of professionalism, I believe that you are giving misinformation about HIPPA. HIPPA only applies to “covered entities” which HIPPA defines as health plans, health care clearing houses, and health care providers who electronically transmit any health information in connection with transactions for which HHS has adopted standards.

Most corrections professionals do not fall into that definition. There are many “rumors” about HIPPA that people, to include health care providers, simply believe. For example, I have been told by a local hospital that I could not be given information about one of my inmates in custody because of HIPPA regulations. That also is simply not true and HIPPA actually directly addresses inmates in custody and the release of their information.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

For those correction officers who are seasoned on the job you probably already know about the federal HIPPA Act, if not you should.

It’s so important as an officer to be VERY careful what you say about an inmate, even joking when it is about their physical or mental health. Statements like “man he has the big disease”; “don’t touch that inmate, he is sick”; “I think that inmate has AIDS or something.”

All statements made to another officer or worse in front of inmates can backfire on the officer that said it.

My suggestion is to be aware of where you are, whom you are with and what you say. Don’t risk your job and career for a careless statement.

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