Corporate Compliance

Q&A: Rehiring an employee that was fired for a violating patient confidentiality

Compliance Monitor, May 11, 2011

Q: An employee is terminated for violating patient confidentiality. The organization later rehires the employee to work in another department and then promotes this individual to the position of director of the department from which the employee was terminated. Is this a common occurrence?

A: Rehiring an individual terminated for violating patient confidentiality is not considered general practice. This scenario is more likely if the employee has no access to patient information when rehired. However, promoting the employee to director of the department where the violation that led to termination occurred could be considered inappropriate. This is always dependent on the severity of the violation, whether the violation was intentional, and the organization's policies with respect to sanctions pursuant to 45 CFR 164.308(a)(1) and 45 CFR 164.530(e).


Chris Apgar, CISSP, answered this question in the May issue of Briefings on HIPAA. For more information about this newsletter, visit the HCMarketplace

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