Getting med fill at work
Nov 23, 2003
I have always been healthy carrier of HBV but now it is active and I have to start on a medication. I currently work for a large chain drug store and they require that employees get Rx fill at one of their stores. Is it wise to get the Rx fill with them and risk my employer and coworker finding out about my HBV status or get it fill at some other drugstores and have to pay out-of-pocket (600)? If they do find out am I at risk for termination because of my status?
Thank you in advance.
Response from Ms. Breuer
I would recommend that you begin by asking your own employer (the director of HR, probably an offsite person) what the drugstore's policy is on the confidentiality of employees' medical information when they fill prescriptions at work. Speak to the HR person as if you were doing an interview: Does your employer have a prescription by mail option? Can you fill your prescriptions at another branch, other than the one where you work? Don't mention HBV when you ask; ask general questions. And remind your contact in HR that the penalties under HIPAA of unauthorized disclosure of an employee's medical information are steep. In light of that, what steps have they taken to protect employees' medical information? The answers will tell you whether you would be wiser (although much poorer!) to fill your prescriptions elsewhere. The irony of that situation would be considerable, wouldn't it?
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