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My surgeons office sent out email with all patients names CC'd. How upset would you be?



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I am a very private person. I have told exactly one person about my WLS. Today I received an email from my surgeons office detailing future support group dates/times and about 500 names and email addresses (just a guess, too many to count) were cc'd in the receiving field. I am shocked and I feel violated. What would you do?

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I would call the office right away. I think this violates HIPPA rules but I'm not sure. But it is decidedly NOT cool. I would be as upset as you are.

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I would call the practice manager and calmly but firmly let him or her know what happened. Whoever sent out the email either made a mistake or doesn't know any better. They should have bcc'd the email at the very least.

I try to assume the best until I have evidence to the contrary.

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As @@Inner Surfer Girl said, it probably was an error. I receive notices from three local medical centers and they're always sent as bcc's. Do call, though. If the error was made by a new staff member, the manager will want to inform the person.

How upset? I think I wouldn't even notice, but that doesn't in the least invalidate your reaction.

Edited by WLSResources/ClothingExch

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I personally would be upset as well, especially since you don't want others to know. I'm a private person too, always have been. If you think about it, when you go into a doctors office and sign in, you are able to see all the patients who came before you and I would think that would be a violation of HIPPA as well but this still occurs in many offices (but not all offices)

You are always given a copy of HIPPA rights but I see them being violated ALL THE TIME in doctors offices. Heck I was recently at my urologists office and I heard the nurses talking about my cousins mother in law who was not even there! Not only that but I am a professional bound my confidentiality myself and I see violations happen almost every single day. It's disturbing and unethical.

I would be picking that phone up the first thing in the morning and calling the doctors office.

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*@Missy407,

Does it help to know that it's 99.97% sure that everyone on the "send" list has had or will be having WLS there, as opposed to other general-surgery procedures? Lots of them chose to tell few people and, for that reason, are likely to respect your privacy as they wish theirs respected by you.

Edited by WLSResources/ClothingExch

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My gripe is the places that ask you to sign that you received the HIPPA notice without giving you the HIPPA notice. I am not interested in re-reading it, but I always refuse to sign until they give it to me.

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Whether you are willing to share this information with others does not matter. Your health record is your business and your business only. This is a violation of HIPAA as they have completely exposed you as a patient. Granted- all of our names are called in the waiting room of doctors offices..but my surgeon does both bariatric AND general surgery. So no one in the waiting room ever has to know what I'm being seen for. But this email you received, it point blank states what kind of treatment you are being seen for. I would definitely bring this to their attention in the most respectful manner possible.

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Your HIPAA rights were violated.

And other privacy rights of yours were also violated by this egregious email mishandling.

In your situation I'd consult an attorney.

What a f**k-up!

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Even if some are fine with it, it's completely not okay. Confidentiality is something you would think would be obvious.

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Im a nurse and our facility takes privacy very seriously!

That is a very serious HIPAA violation and someone's booty will be on the chopping block for that. Call office right away. That is NOT ok!!!

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I would be irritated too, but they didn't violate anything. Directory info isn't protected. Just our actual medical info. Just because we are on the list doesn't mean we had anything done.

But, definitely call the office & let them know it bothered you.

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It's not just about privacy - having your email address provided to countless strangers is not ok, either.

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That is definitely a HIPAA violation because it ties identifying information (email) with a medical condition (bariatric surgery).

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I am a very private person. I have told exactly one person about my WLS. Today I received an email from my surgeons office detailing future support group dates/times and about 500 names and email addresses (just a guess, too many to count) were cc'd in the receiving field. I am shocked and I feel violated. What would you do?

This is a violation of HIPAA. It may have been done mistakenly so I would contact the doctor's office and inform them.

I, like you, am a very private person and this probably wouldn't sit well with me either.

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