My question involves public health law in the State of: California
My room mate is an LVN who does home care work. One of her clients is a child with an incapacitating genetic disorder. The child’s 18-year-old sister lives in the home with the disabled child and their two parents. My room mate has had total hip replacement surgery and is on some pretty heavy-duty painkillers (high-dose oxy, for those of you who are curious). Anyway, last week she went to work and the douchebag sister stole her entire bottle of Norco. Actually, she stole 41 tablets and left my roomie three, optimistically thinking that roomie wouldn’t notice. I told roomie to file a police report ASAP. Roomie freaked and basically said “absolutely not.” She’s actually terrified that she will lose her job with the agency if she does the right thing and reports the theft. She’s completely convinced that it would violate HIPAA, and that she will be fined a bazillion dollars and spend the next ten years being somebody’s bitch if she reports the theft. This is complete nonsense, isn’t it? The wiki page on HIPAA gives links to several applicable DOJ documents on the subject, and from what I’ve read this wouldn’t be a HIPAA violation by even the remotest stretch of the imagination. But she claims that another employee of her agency got fired for doing exactly what I suggested. Please tell me that I’m right here—I can’t accept that she could get fired for not letting some junkie steal her narcotics.