Can Your Supervisor call Your Doctor?? Is that legal?

My supervisor called my doctor to see if I really had a doctor's appointment. I was wondering how illegal is this? I did intend to go to the doctor's office, but I couldn't get an appointment until the next day. She called my Dr. and probably lied to see if I had an appointment that day (Dr./Patient Confidentiality). So she yelled at me and told me I lied, which I admitted I didn't have an appointment, but I tried. I know it's illegal to call an employee's Doctor, but what kind of action against her would be taken? because HR Dept. won't tell me what action was taken and I feel like NOTHING ACTUALLY HAPPENED, besides she made me feel like crap. I want her to feel like crap, too. If anyone has any experience in this kind of mishap, PLEASE let me know the action taken upon this byatch of a supervisor. Thanks all!

Actually, she can call all she wants to; if the doctor's office actually GIVES her any information about you, THEY are the ones at fault. HIPAA guidelines do not allow them to release any "personally identifiable information." If they even so much as confirmed or denied that you had an appointment, or that you were even a PATIENT, they have broken federal law, and are open to a lawsuit.
It is NOT illegal.

Next question?

BY THE WAY PEOPLE, READ HIPPA before you make guesses as to its relevance.

In this situation it does NOT apply. Or do you think I answer based on hearing the sound the keys make or on my 35 years of legal practice?


HIPAA covers any information about your past, present or future mental or physical health including information about payment for your care. To be covered by HIPAA, information has to be kept by a covered entity - a health care provider, health care plan, or health care clearinghouse. This, combined with some fact that identifies you (your name, address, telephone number, Social Security number) is called "protected health information" or PHI. PHI can be oral, handwritten, or entered into a computer. This means a conversation between a doctor and nurse about your condition has the same general protections as information written on your records.

HIPAA says that the group health plan can tell your employer whether you are enrolled in the plan or not. Your employer can also get from the group plan what is called "summary" information to use to obtain premium bids or changes in coverage. If the health information your employer receives goes beyond the basic summary, then HIPAA requires the employer to establish procedures much like that of a covered entity. HIPAA attempts to limit the use of medical information for employment purposes.

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, an employer that is also the insurer of health benefits is in a category called a "hybrid" entity. That means the portion of the company's operations that deal with processing health claims is a covered entity. Like any other covered entity, a "hybrid" function must (1) give notice of written privacy procedures, (2) place restrictions on the use of health information, and (3) appoint a privacy officer and train staff.

An on-site health clinic at your place of employment may be another example of what the HIPAA Privacy Rule calls a "hybrid" entity. This depends on whether the health clinic transmits information electronically and engages in standard transactions under HIPAA's electronic data interchange rule, for example, if the clinic bills an employee's health plan. If so, the records maintained by the health clinic are subject to the same protections that apply to other covered entities.

Records that relate to other employee benefits such as life insurance, disability, workers compensation, or long-term care insurance are not covered by HIPAA. Nor are records that relate to your employer's compliance with laws that govern safety and health risks in the workplace.

By the way, PHI is Personal Health Information and it is also not illegal for the health care provider to leave appointment information on a telephone answering machine, or to mail such in a post card.
You need to talk to your doctor, because they shouldn't have released that information. Sue them for like YEAH! WHAT NOW?!?!
That is a breach of patient/doctor confidentiality. The most your employer could do is request a verification of treatment form or doctor's note after the visit.
they can call but your doctor cant give them any information
Can they call and ask if you have an appointment - yes. Can they ask medical information about you - not without your permission.

YOU LIED - you got caught - you should feel like crap. You likely feel like crap because your lying sorry butt got caught in your sorry little lie!
From my experience, they CAN call your doctor, but only have they have a valid reason ie missing work alot, tardiness, etc. If there's no reason for it, then it should be a violation of privacy, but since you got caught, I would just leave it as it is.
I don't think confirming an appointment time is illegal. Especially if you told the employeer you were going to get off work; different than just making random calls to see if you are seeing a doctor. You already told the employer you were going; what confidentiality is broken?
Actually, I would say the doctor's office is the one in the wrong. Your employer could call your doctor's office all they want, but without a signed consent form from you, your doctor's office could not divulge whether you had an appointment or not.

You should turn this in to the administration of the doctor's office and/or the local HIPAA representative.
You can't take any action just tell the truth next time and don't lie to your boss. If you don't lie to them then they can't hold it against you. If they are paying you then they deserve the truth.
What she did is completely wrong and this goes against patient confidentiality. That is illegal and you ca n sue her. She does not have any right to even know what doctor you go to or what kind of doctor you go too. SUE THE *****>
I don't think it's illegal for your employer to call but it is illegal for your doctors office to give out information like that. You need to talk to your doctor and ask him/her to take appropriate action with the person who gave out the information. If they won't take action then I would contact a lawyer.
The appointment could of been confirmed if the note was presented to them and the sup. took that to the office to confirm if the note was legitimate. But just cold calling a doctor's office and asking about people, and even verifying the person's history there would violate doctor/patient confidentially. Think of a reporter calling rehab centers looking for celebrities.
Doctor/Patient confidentiality only exists about diagnosis/treatment of medical disorders. There is no such thing as Office Manager/patient/Employer confidentiality.
actuall it's illegal to give out informationon a patient unless they give consent so unless your boss is one person on the list.I dont think she has a right> INVASION OF PRIVACY
hex is way states on the website she/he referred to...says "In general, your health information cannot be given to your
employer, used or shared for things like sales calls or
advertising, or used or shared for many other purposes
unless you give your permission by signing an
authorization form. This authorization form must tell
you who will get your information and what your
information will be used for"

Limits on Use of Personal Medical Information. The privacy rule sets limits on how health plans and covered providers may use individually identifiable health information. To promote the best quality care for patients, the rule does not restrict the ability of doctors, nurses and other providers to share information needed to treat their patients. In other situations, though, personal health information generally may not be used for purposes not related to health care, and covered entities may use or share only the minimum amount of protected information needed for a particular purpose. In addition, patients would have to sign a specific authorization before a covered entity could release their medical information to a life insurer, a bank, a marketing firm or another outside business for purposes not related to their health care.
I think you only action is towards the Doctor and his staff. The information is privileged. Nothing can be done and your revenge is warranted but quite ineffective to make a change.
The doctor is not allowed to tell them if you have an appt or not. That is what the HIPAA is all about. If you are in a union office you could file a greivance. You could file a complaint with your HR department and check out EEO. The only way they can legally get any info from your Dr, is if you sign a release and I doubt the byatch did that.
Not on the supervisor the DOCTOR, the supervisor has a right to call BUT the doctor dose NOT have the authorization to answer without your consent. besides you probably goofed the doctor knows that he/she cant not give out this kind of information so you should have kept a poker face and said you did and whatever happened you would budge from your answer,your supervisor probably had hi suspicions that you didn't go so he made up the story of him calling and all and you caved
file a harassment charge and your work will have to go from there. If she did not trust you she should have fired or wrote you up but to call your doctors office is totally like stalking
You want her to feel like crap?

Well, how does it feel for you? Do you want to treat people as she does?

Your doctors office should not be giving out any of your information. However, in this case you get busted even though your intentions were good.

Just suck it up and move on. Of course let your doctor know that you don't want your info given out to anyone. I'm sure that was a mistake as well.

You can be the better person here, don't be vengeful.
I'm not a professional, but your super can call whomever they want to - BUT - I really can't see the Dr's office allowing their staff to be freely offer any personal information to anyone...
especially over the phone (who's to say it really is your jobs supervisor or just some weird out stalker??)..
I would have a serious talk with your Drs office and threaten a law suit over this one if you got reprimanded at your job because of it.
Your Drs office should have just said (to your super) I'm sorry, but we're not allowed to give out any information regarding our patience....then hang up the phone.
i don't think you have a leg to stand on...if you lied you lied..trying and getting is too different things..
The supervisor can call to see if you went. Of if the doctor gave you some time off. THATS IT! The doctor can not disclose anything else at all.
I do not know of laws that prevent an employer from calling to see if you have an appointment. With that said, the information for your employer ends there. Your reason for seeing the doctor is confidential. It is up to your doctor and his/her staff as to whether they let an employer know if you have an appointment. Request that your doctor not give out that information to your employer as for action against your boss, look in your employee handbook and follow the grievance policy. HR must take your complaint, if not file against them.
Perhaps this can answer your question:
Office for Civil Rights/HIPAA
1-800-368-1019 - Civil Rights
1-866-627-7748 – HIPAA
TTY: 1-800-537-7697

File a Complaint
TTY: 1-800-537-7697
She can call and ask if you had the appointment that day and that's legal.
What is illegal is if she calls and asks for confidential information, such as your heath or any treatments you are on.
You sound like a co-worker that I had and got fired, she always thought that they were doing her a favor for hiring her and allowing her tardiness everyday and when the boss put a stop to it, she was still looking to sue the company.
Just admit that your boss got you!
If she called if because you are not to trust, you probably lied before.
You should complain to your doctor's office. The supervisor can call and ask, they don't have to tell. They cannot disclose WHAT the appt is for.
It is not illegal to call. It may is illegal to misrepresent yourself, and it would be illegal for the Docotor to reveal private medical information without your permission. However, I don't know that having an appointment or not is considered private medical information.
Real quick.

1. there is no law saying an employer cannot call your doctor.

Employers contact employee doctors all the time, to verify medical conditions or doctors notes.

2. Why would HR violate confidentiality, by telling you anything about what actions it took against a supervisor or any other employee.

You don't think HR would tell anyone about actions taken against you, do you?
I used to work in the healthcare field in billing a long time ago(I didn't actually talk to patients or anyone who came in, but I remember having to read about it). If I remember right...HIPPA... actually does protect you against that type of thing. They can call, but the doctors office should not answer the question and they need to make that very clear to the supervisor. Go to and put your question in there and it will give you all kinds of info on your issue and the HIPPA act. Like when I go to the hospital, they have you sign something if you allow them to tell other people you are there and if you don't...and someone calls asking if you are there, they are in violation. They even told me that when I checked in. I would read about it yourself, that way you get the answer you are looking for and see the law for yourself. If you were sick and stayed home and could not get an appointment until the next day...sometimes if you explain how ill you were to the doctor and how you tried to get in...some of them will give you a doctor excuse for that previous day too (you might be to even now, give them a call and see). Good luck with your situation.

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