1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    I have to caution you on that train of thought. HIPAA Privacy Rules guarantee a patient's right to total privacy, including forbidding having their photo taken without their consent if their identity and their injuries can be identified.
    It depends on who's taking the pictures and where the patient is. HIPAA doesn't apply to everyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    It depends on who's taking the pictures and where the patient is. HIPAA doesn't apply to everyone.
    Exactly, as I stated in my very wordy post above. The media, the general public, no. My only caution is to fire/ems folks.
    I have only 2 allegiances, to my country and to my God. The rest of you are fair game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    So, lets say Mr. Off Duty Firefighter takes photos or video of your mother while she is being extricated from an accident. He then turns around and publishes these photos or places a video on Youtube.
    He's off-duty and not providing billable medical care so HIPAA absolutely doesn't apply. (It may or may not apply when he's on-duty.)

    As long as he and the accident are in a public place in plain view, he can take pictures to his little heart's content and publish them wherever he wants to. Under some circumstances, he can even sell those pictures.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    Exactly, as I stated in my very wordy post above. The media, the general public, no. My only caution is to fire/ems folks.
    FWIW, CT just passed a law making it illegal for medical responders (on-duty with the exception of official photos) to take recognizable pictures of a patient at a scene without the patient or patient's family's permission.

    Off-duty repsonders, on the other hand, have no more restrictions on them than the general public.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    So, lets say Mr. Off Duty Firefighter takes photos or video of your mother while she is being extricated from an accident. He then turns around and publishes these photos or places a video on Youtube. And, because your mother's face and injuries are identifiable, she starts getting mail, email and phone calls from chiropractors/pain management clinics/physical therapists,etc offering their services that she doesnt want.

    Did the photographer/off duty firefighter/medic disclose private medical record information, even though he or she is very familiar with HIPAA (not HIPPA)?
    That "off duty firefighter" is totally within their rights.

    Its muddy waters that lawyers cannot decide one way or another. Do you want to be the test court case? My advice, and my law director's, for anyone taking photos is never show a patient's face! We are not the media or a curious passerby or a buff. Remember this quote?: "The funny thing about firemen is, night and day, they are always firemen." Google it, its from a movie that was made about 7 years before you came on the job. Its a totally different ball game for us my friend. On duty or off. PS...Did I mention that its HIPAA and not HIPPA?
    It is not muddy at all... it is crystal clear.

    You don't know what you are talking about. End of story.

    You and your "law director" obviously don't understand the the law.

    Btw, great job quoting "Backdraft" as part of your "legal" intepretation. I almost peed my pants over that...

    Here read this... note who is a "covered entity".

    http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa...ies/index.html
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 06-26-2011 at 10:08 PM.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    Blah blah blah
    Other than pointing out a typographical error, you have yet to say anything intelligent on this matter. Nothing in your blabber has anything to do with this. Your original post was wrong then and it is still wrong now. Your follow up is even more wrong. And illustrates quite clearly what I said before. You fling the term around without having a single clue what it is about.

    Feel free to correct any typos if that's the only thing you can do right.
    Last edited by nmfire; 06-26-2011 at 10:06 PM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Off-duty repsonders, on the other hand, have no more restrictions on them than the general public.
    I do know of a case where a paramedic was suspended for sharing a patient's photos via cell phone messaging. He took the photos off duty. If I can find the article, I will post it.
    I have only 2 allegiances, to my country and to my God. The rest of you are fair game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    I do know of a case where a paramedic was suspended for sharing a patient's photos via cell phone messaging. He took the photos off duty. If I can find the article, I will post it.
    So what?

    Doesn't mean he violated HIPAA.

    I eagerly await you finding this article...
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    I do know of a case where a paramedic was suspended for sharing a patient's photos via cell phone messaging. He took the photos off duty. If I can find the article, I will post it.
    That's nice. What does that have to do with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act? Oh that's right... NOTHING. Just like everything else you've tried to post.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    That's nice. What does that have to do with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act? Oh that's right... NOTHING. Just like everything else you've tried to post.
    And under federal law, the medic could have (and should have) sued his/her employer for infringement of civil rights.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    A legal opinion regarding posting photos or other information obtained "off duty" that can identify someone. It is taken from a lecture for pre-hospital providers on the ever changing views of "patient privacy" in our overly-litigious society.


    "The HIPAA statute is a long and complicated law that could take hours and hours to discuss. However, there are some major points specific to social media and EMS that should be addressed. With the rising popularity of social media sites like Facebook, and sites which promote instantaneous information transmission such as Twitter, this has created a gap in the law which was designed to protect a patient's or victim's right to privacy. Lawmakers have begun drafting a rash of new legislation which places criminal and civil sanctions on any posting on the internet, especially of crime scenes (which can include motor vehicle crashes), by any member of the ‘public trust,' such as police, fire, EMS, and other emergency responders. Anyone who the public relies on is naturally subject to a higher level of scrutiny when not on duty. You should be well aware by now that, as a care giver, publishing any patient information without the express written permission of the patient will violate the law under the privacy provisions of the federally enacted HIPAA. Violating a patient’s privacy is no longer limited to releasing patient records. Prohibited publishing also includes releasing photographs or video of a patient posted on any social media site or e-mailed, even by a person of the 'public trust' not directly involved in the patient’s care. The internet increases the chances that someone will be able to identify the person that you are referring to in your posted account, photo or video. In short, you have an obligation under the law to protect every aspect of a patient’s privacy; even if you are off-duty."

    On that note, I will let you form your own opinions and bid you all a good night. And be safe out there!
    Last edited by firepiper1; 06-27-2011 at 12:31 AM.
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    More long rambling that doesn't actually have anything to do with HIPAA.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    More long rambling that doesn't actually have anything to do with HIPAA.
    Gee, a lecture by an attorney regarding how being off duty doesnt exempt you from HIPAA and includes the sentence "Prohibited publishing also includes releasing photographs or video of a patient" doesnt actually have anything to do with HIPAA. You are chief material!
    Last edited by firepiper1; 06-27-2011 at 12:52 AM.
    I have only 2 allegiances, to my country and to my God. The rest of you are fair game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    "The HIPAA statute is a long and complicated law that could take hours and hours to discuss. However, there are some major points specific to social media and EMS that should be addressed. With the rising popularity of social media sites like Facebook, and sites which promote instantaneous information transmission such as Twitter, this has created a gap in the law which was designed to protect a patient's or victim's right to privacy. Lawmakers have begun drafting a rash of new legislation which places criminal and civil sanctions on any posting on the internet, especially of crime scenes (which can include motor vehicle crashes), by any member of the ‘public trust,' such as police, fire, EMS, and other emergency responders. Anyone who the public relies on is naturally subject to a higher level of scrutiny when not on duty.
    Let me break that down for you.

    There is nothing preventing you from doing it now... hence the "... gap in the law".... and "Lawmakers have begun drafting...."

    So your quote doesn't support your position and in fact supports EVERYONE else's.

    You should be well aware by now that, as a care giver, publishing any patient information without the express written permission of the patient will violate the law under the privacy provisions of the federally enacted HIPAA.
    I disagree and feel strongly that this is incorrect. The law only applies if you are a "covered entity". Big difference then the blanket statement. Now maybe the attorney was providing an opinion to a "covered entity"... not sure.


    Violating a patient’s privacy is no longer limited to releasing patient records. Prohibited publishing also includes releasing photographs or video of a patient posted on any social media site or e-mailed, even by a person of the 'public trust' not directly involved in the patient’s care. The internet increases the chances that someone will be able to identify the person that you are referring to in your posted account, photo or video. In short, you have an obligation under the law to protect every aspect of a patient’s privacy; even if you are off-duty."
    This opinion is not necessarily supported by the actual law... again, it depends on the exact circumstances.

    While there might be other laws protecting privacy, HIPAA does not support this opinion.

    Can you provide a citation for these comments?

    Is this the source?
    http://www.brfd.org/training/medical...ril%202011.pdf
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 06-27-2011 at 01:28 AM.
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    The quotes were taken from a handout. If the information was originally from the link you provided, or vice versa, I cant tell you.

    Well my friends, I think we have beat this one to death. Or close to it. Again, form your own opinions on the subject. I can only base mine on what I have been told. You know what they say about lawyers, every firehouse has one.

    Be safe.
    I have only 2 allegiances, to my country and to my God. The rest of you are fair game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    The quotes were taken from a handout. If the information was originally from the link you provided, or vice versa, I cant tell you.

    Well my friends, I think we have beat this one to death. Or close to it. Again, form your own opinions on the subject. I can only base mine on what I have been told. You know what they say about lawyers, every firehouse has one.

    Be safe.
    Which part of "if you are off-duty, and the photos are taken from a public right-of-way, they are fair game" don't you understand? And I get my information from this handout, perhaps you have heard of it, it's called
    The United States Constitution. There's another one, called
    The Bill of Rights. Ask your attorney if he has heard of either.

    WTF difference does it make if Joe Blow Civilian takes some shots which have a patients face in them, or me coming home from work in shorts and a Disney t-shirt???? Here's a hint: NONE!!!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    The quotes were taken from a handout. If the information was originally from the link you provided, or vice versa, I cant tell you.

    Well my friends, I think we have beat this one to death. Or close to it. Again, form your own opinions on the subject. I can only base mine on what I have been told. You know what they say about lawyers, every firehouse has one.

    Be safe.
    Good luck with your law career!

    Hey, there are lots of other fire movies you can base your legal opinions on...

    I think "Barney Goes to the Firehouse" is on Youtube.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Hey, there are lots of other fire movies you can base your legal opinions on...
    Yeah, but there are even MORE vollies and buffs I can base my firefighting knowledge on. They are parked across from the firehouse, with one hand down their pants and the other on their scanner waiting for us to catch a run.
    I have only 2 allegiances, to my country and to my God. The rest of you are fair game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    Gee, a lecture by an attorney regarding how being off duty doesnt exempt you from HIPAA and includes the sentence "Prohibited publishing also includes releasing photographs or video of a patient" doesnt actually have anything to do with HIPAA. You are chief material!
    Because this lawyer's lecture is wrong. That's why.


    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    Yeah, but there are even MORE vollies and buffs I can base my firefighting knowledge on. They are parked across from the firehouse, with one hand down their pants and the other on their scanner waiting for us to catch a run.
    Who are also more than welcome to take pictures of whatever they want from wherever they want outside our perimeter and are not bound by HIPAA or any other law anywhere regardless of what bobby told sally he heard at a meeting.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    Yeah, but there are even MORE vollies and buffs I can base my firefighting knowledge on. They are parked across from the firehouse, with one hand down their pants and the other on their scanner waiting for us to catch a run.
    Great non-sequitar.

    How you making out on that article about the paramedic who was disciplined for taking a photo off duty for a HIPAA violation?
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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