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Outed at public testing clinic in town!!!
Jul 13, 2004

Dear Expert:

I recently went to go and get tested at a local public clinic here in town (that is sponsored by our local tax dollars) and a county employee who works at the public health facility recognized me & told my brother that I was at this clinic.

I am very private person and feel that this is a major violation of my privacy. I have gone through a range of emotions. What should I do? I am very angry.

Response from Ms. Breuer

You have every reason to be angry, and the clinic employee needs a crash course in the confidentiality requirements of HIPAA, a federal law that recently (2003) tightened confidentiality and increased the fines for violating confidentiality. I recommend that you complain formally (that's in writing) to the director of the clinic. If you do not get satisfaction, contact your local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office and ask for their help. Find them in the government section of your phone book. Your rights have been violated, as I understand your description of events. If you follow through, you will feel better and you could help to prevent this from happening to others.

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