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CrazyRedhead

HELP--Received another patient's information along with my information--What should I do?

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Would it be considered a HIPAA violation if someone accidentally stapled a copy of another patient's info along with my records?

To make a long story as short as possible, I went to my GP today to get some bloodwork done.

I have been going to this multi-physician practice for over 6 years, and they have helped me out a lot...Everyone very nice, no problems there, ever........Anyway, they always give me an after visit summary to take home with me.

This morning, when I left, I took my summary home as usual, and only when I got home did I examine it, and realize that 2 pages of another patients info had been stapled to my summary.....I'm assuming this was just an accident made by office staff...**SIGH**

The other patient's info consisted of an order for an MRI and X-rays, ordered by Dr. X (not my doctor)....It also had other person's name, address, phone number, date of birth, and reasons why the doctor had ordered the MRI.

I called the practice about it, and they asked for my info, plus the other person's name, and date of birth.....Then they asked me to bring it back to them....Told them I couldn't, because the person who usually drives me to appts was not available again today.....Then I told the office staff member it was an order for an MRI.

After a LONG hold on the phone, they said they would call me back.

I wonder what all this is about...Did the office accidentally commit a HIPAA violation?.....Anyone know what this would entail for me?....I'm certainly not at fault here...

Man, this makes me super anxious now...

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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Yes they did. They sure as fuck did.

You didn’t do anything wrong at all. They handed you your papers, which you are by no means required to review while you’re in the office. They’re damn lucky you’re a good person and called them to report THEIR mistake. 

Not that it’s any of your responsibility or your concern, but are you going to contact the person whose file you received?

If they want those documents back, they can send a courier. 

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Thanks @Gearhead

If they want the records back so bad, let them pay a mail courier to get them back....I certainly have no need for them.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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28 minutes ago, Gearhead said:

Not that it’s any of your responsibility or your concern, but are you going to contact the person whose file you received?

@Gearhead, I really wasn't planning on it, but should I?

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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Personally I think you've done your part here, calling the office. It wasn't your fault in the least, and I agree it was a huge screw up on their part. I would just shred/tear up the other person's stuff. The office can issue them another MRI order. There's no reason it should be your problem. If you want to give the other patient a heads up you can, but you are under no obligation to go outside your comfort zone to do that. Just my .02.

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Thank you, @Unstrung Harp.......I admit I'm not very comfortable about calling the other patient.....I think that calling the office and letting them know about the error was good enough.......If office doesn't bother calling me back, within a reasonable time, I think I'll just shred the other patient's stuff.

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This happened to me once. It was the insurance company that screwed up, if I recall correctly. I had to mail the documents back to them and sign a form stating that I returned the documents. I also got a couple phone calls about it asking what I did with the documents etc. I would really try to return them rather than shred them.

That said, it's their screw up, not yours. Just remember that.

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2 hours ago, Juniper29 said:

This happened to me once. It was the insurance company that screwed up, if I recall correctly. I had to mail the documents back to them and sign a form stating that I returned the documents. I also got a couple phone calls about it asking what I did with the documents etc. I would really try to return them rather than shred them.

That said, it's their screw up, not yours. Just remember that.

That’s pretty crass on their part. I would express my anger to them in clear terms. But that’s just me. I’d probably tell them I’d sign something saying I gave the info back right after they signed something saying it was their fault.

Remember it isn’t your fault, Redhead. They are firmly in the wrong.

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Thanks everybody for your input.....I realize now it wasn't my fault....I might call them back today and ask what to do....I'm afraid of destroying them now.....Just going back and forth in my head, wondering what to do.......This sucks.

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You don’t have to do a thing, Red. Put the papers somewhere safe and don’t waste any more of your energy dealing with someone else’s mistake. It’s 100% theirs to fix. You don’t need to call them. They can call you.

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3 minutes ago, Gearhead said:

You don’t have to do a thing, Red. Put the papers somewhere safe and don’t waste any more of your energy dealing with someone else’s mistake. It’s 100% theirs to fix. You don’t need to call them. They can call you.

Good solution......Yes, I think I'll just keep the papers in a safe place and wait for them to call me....If they ever call.

This was not my fault and it is up to them to fix......So I'm not going to worry about it anymore.....Thanks, Gear

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This happens all the time in the system where I work. The routine is to tell the person to shred the papers and keep the revealed info confidential/don’t reveal their name to anyone. They should have been more careful. If you have a shredder it would solve the what to do issues. Sorry this happened to you and the other patient. Also, I started asking for info via portal, not written, so this doesn’t happen to me, and I don’t read it anyway. 

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