Medical law project

Unit 8 Project Questions: Part I

1. Under HIPAA, are you legally allowed to view this patient’s medical information? Why or why not? Under HIPAA you are not legally allowed to view a patients medical information unless you have written consent, but because he just had outpatient surgery and signed a HIPAA release of information form so you are able to view his information.

2. In this case, how would you be able to correct your error and provide the missing documents to the patient while still protecting patient confidentiality under HIPAA? I would contact the patient by phone, mail or email. What ever way he wanted to be contacted in his file that’s how I would contact the patient. I would ask him if he wanted to come in and pick up his prescription and treatment papers or call his pharmacy and mail his treatment papers in the mail to the address of his choice and explain to him what to do as his treatment papers say if they was coming through the mail.

3. Besides a HIPAA Patient Release of Information form, list 4 other items that are found in the medical record. The 4 other things found in a medical record is 1- patients complete name, address, phone numbers, social security number and other important information. 2- the doctors notes and diagnosis and treatment information. 3- laboratory test results. 4- family medical history.

4. Legally, does the patient or the physician/healthcare facility own the medical record? Why? State statutes may establish who owns the medical records. In most states, the general rule is that the physician or owners of a healthcare facility, such as a hospital, own the medical records, but patients have the legal right of privileged communication (confidential information told to their physician) and access to their records. Therefore, patients must authorize release of their records in writing.

5. List 3 ways patient confidentiality is maintained in the reception/waiting area of a medical office. Medical personnel should use a low voice when speaking to patients over the telephone or speaking about patients to other staff members within hearing distance of any patients in the waiting room. Ideally, a glass enclosure should be present at the front desk in all waiting rooms to separate the receptionist from the patients and provide an additional aid for patient confidentiality. The sign-in sheet or patient register should be designed so those patients who are signing in or registering cannot view other patients’ names.

6. A breach of confidentiality can result in what consequences for a health care professional? The penalties for violating HIPAA range from civil penalties of up to $100 per person per incident for minor improper disclosures of health information, and up to $25,000 for multiple violations of the same standard in a calendar year. Federal criminal liability for improper disclosure of information or for obtaining information under false pretenses carries sanctions (fines) of $50,000 and one year in prison.

The liability for obtaining protected health information under false pretenses with the intent to sell, transfer, or use the information for personal gain or for a malicious action, such as Medicare fraud, carries penalties of $250,000 and/or up to ten years in prison. Severe penalties are in effect if lax security allows health information to be stolen. There is also a risk of a class action suit as well as public relations damage to the institution’s or physician’s image.

7. From the list of Interpersonal Ethics (found in Chapter 1 of the Fremgen text), please describe how any of those traits were demonstrated in your actions in this case scenario? Traits I had is empathy, compassion and loyalty. I put my self in his shoes and imagine the pain he had. I was loyal and cared enough about the patient to look for a contact number because it is extremely important for the patient to heal properly and wouldn’t want him to be any pain.

Unit 8 Project Questions: Part II

1. Would the action taken in this second scenario be within your scope ofpractice for your chosen field? Why or why not? The action taken within my scope depended on what state I am in. In some states medical assistants have the right to refill prescriptions. The assistant still should of confirmed it with the patients Physican.

2. What determines your scope of practice for your chosen career? A licsense in your career is a start. It provides proof of what you are able to do. A clear chain of command provides a “failsafe” mechanism so that no employees are left to make decisions that they are unqualified to make.

3. Would Respondeat Superior apply in this case scenario? Why or why not? Respondeat superior is a Latin phrase meaning, “let the master answer.” Under the principle of respondeat superior, an employer is liable for acts of the employee within the scope of employment. What this means for physicians is that they are liable for negligent actions of the employees working for them. The assistant should of known to clear it with the physican first and the physican should make sure the assistant is right for the job and knows her scope.

4. Would the Good Samaritan Law apply in this case scenario? Why or why not? No the Good Samaritan Law does not apply to this case scenario. They wasn’t in public where a life was in danger, like choking or something while the real emergency care got there. She was in the medical affice and they had a converstation over the phone.

5. What role does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) play in regards to prescription medication? The prescription needed to be recorded to ensure the safety of those items sold within the United States.

6. What role does the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) play in regards to prescription medication and a physician’s ability to prescribe narcotics? Physicians who administer controlled substances, also called narcotics, must register with the DEA in Washington, DC, and the registration must be renewed every three years. Only a physican can telephone the pharmacists for narcotics.


All information found was from the digital book used in Course HS101 from Kaplan University.

Title: Medical Law and Ethics