Admin Sep and possible HIPAA violation

Discussion in 'Administrative Separations' started by MarkItZero, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. MarkItZero

    MarkItZero Registered Member

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    Hey all,

    So I'm being separated for Adjustment Disorder in May (so I'm told), and I have a few questions about what to expect and if HIPAA was violated in regards to my psych record.

    My doctor told me to take her memorandum and my service member request (MILPERSMAN 1910-120) and route them up my CoC all the way to the CO for approval. My Chief called me into his office 3 weeks after routing it and informed me that my Doctor was supposed to route it to the CO herself, and that by her instructing me to route it up the CoC it violated HIPAA. My Chief took my packet to legal himself and turned it in and I was informed by legal that I have 30 days to turn in a confirmation of diagnosis and then they'll submit it all to the CO.

    I am now in an awkward place because I already have felt tension with my LPO ever since starting this process, and I'm very uncomfortable with the fact that my entire CoC saw my diagnosis and the doctors notes in regards to it as well as my own enclosure that I wrote regarding my condition. I feel like I've been treated harshly ever since this began and it's caused me a lot of stress due to everyone knowing such personal things about me.

    Here's my questions:

    1.) Was this is genuine HIPAA violation? If so, who should I speak with about it? Routing it up the CoC and exposing all of those personal details has made work extremely stressful and I'm uncomfortable around my CoC now.

    2.) When I turn in my confirmation of diagnosis next week, about how long will it take for legal to put the packet on the CO's desk and for him to sign it and route it to PSD? If I have the process wrong, what is it supposed to be? (It is a service member initiated request)

    3.) What resources can I turn to to prepare myself for getting out? I've been in over 3 years and have never been NJP'd or CM, and have maintained an MP eval. I've been told that this circumstance warrants an Honorable Discharge which means I can use my GI Bill. I've been told the process is fast and that I won't be able to take TGPS (TAPS) prior to discharge.

    I appreciate everyone that takes the time to read this and respond. Thank you!
     
  2. jahlon

    jahlon PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

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    1) Technically it was not a violation of HIPAA at face value. You cannot violate your own right to privacy. Now, the instructions of your doctor, well those were immoral, possibly illegal. Technically, the only thing the doctor is allowed to share is generalized details of your situation. If you can deploy, if you can arm up, if you are a threat to yourself or others (suicidal or homicidal ideation). Until you are put in for a review (RILO, DAWG [AF], MEB, etc) the only thing that is supposed to be shared is your prognosis (will or will not get better). If these events have made your workplace impossible for you to handle you need to 1) share this with your mental health provider 2) consider going to EO/IG about the situation 3) consider going to the patient advocate at the hospital to get assigned a new provider.

    2) I have no idea why you are handling any of your own paperwork at all. You should not be turning anything into anyone. If you are going through a RILO or a MEB you should be working with a PEBLO. I'm a little more than concerned as to why you are working with legal on this at all.

    3) Being told you aren't able to take TAP is an immediate red flag because everyone is afforded the opportunity to go to TAP.


    If I was in your shoes, I'd head over to your defense counsel and have a sit down chat with them.
     
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  3. mrando69

    mrando69 PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

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    As soon as you get referred to the MEB and are assigned a PEBLO you are supposed to go through TAP (Transition Assistance Program). I just found that out last week and Fort Knox about had a fit when I just signed up after entering the process back in October. Have you even been assigned a PEBLO yet? I didn't notice you mentioning one in any of your posts. If you don't have a PEBLO, you probably haven't been referred to the MEB yet. If that's the case, could you be jumping the gun on this? I'm not making accusations I'm just asking. I know how wound up I was when I first found about this crap and things weren't moving as fast as I felt they should.
     
  4. pittpan2005

    pittpan2005 PEB Forum Veteran

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    To piggy back off jahlon, HIPAA is designed to protect your information. A voluntary disclosure by you (consent) is an exception, which removes the information from the protection of HIPAA (to a point).

    Do you have a command limited duty coordinator? There should be someone who is responsible for overseeing the healthcare of all personnel in the unit. Only they should be the liaison between your doctors and the CoC.
     
  5. MarkItZero

    MarkItZero Registered Member

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    Well I'm not going the MEB route because my provider considers my condition as acute. She asked me if my AD is so severe that I believe I'd be better outside of the Navy, and I told her that I do believe that. She then recommended that I take the admin sep route for AD per MILPERSMAN 1910-120 for a service member initiated request. After I agreed to take this route is when she drafted her memorandum of the prognosis for me to submit to my CoC, and that's when I found out it's supposed to be going to legal.

    Has anyone here gone this route before? The MILPERSMAN 1910-120 route?
     
  6. MarkItZero

    MarkItZero Registered Member

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    JAG told me that I won't be doing a MEB or PEB or be assigned a PEBLO because this is a simple admin sep process for a medical condition (not a disability) and does not warrant those measures.
     
  7. jahlon

    jahlon PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

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    Yeah, you need to be informed that you are getting somewhat screwed (or you are screwing yourself).

    If you voluntarily separate from the service, you might be sacrificing some benefits in the long run. If your adjustment disorder has existed for more than six months, then its not an Acute case its a Chronic case. Chronic Adjustment Disorder is a DoD boardable condition under 9440. I know this to be truth, because I am currently being MEB'd for Chronic Adjustment Disorder.

    Honestly, you don't know how bad your Adjustment Disorder is going to get until you see the worst of it. Maybe it ends the day you leave the Navy. Maybe you leave the Navy and its gets worse.

    I wouldn't voluntarily get out of the military just to avoid/shortcut the MEB process for Adjustment Disorder.
     
  8. MarkItZero

    MarkItZero Registered Member

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    Well what are my alternatives if I pursue a MEB? My doc stated that she doesn't feel it's chronic because I had taken a year break between care because the mental health clinic at my last command was atrocious. Because of this break in care she deemed it acute.

    What is the benefit to pursuing a MEB anyway? A small percentage of disability? I'd still have to partake in the Navy lifestyle (i.e. watch, inspections, etc.) for however long the MEB process takes, which will do nothing but make my condition worse and drive me insane. Am I looking at this wrong?
     
  9. jahlon

    jahlon PEB Forum Veteran Registered Member

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    I would say you are looking at this from the short-term approach that we look at things when we are unhappy. We always think the grass on the other side of the fence is greener, but the truth it is only greener because of all the shit we don't see.

    First and foremost, what your doctor feels is only one part of the process. When asked when your condition started, you say the first date you went into mental health treatment. It is not at all uncommon for people who are suffering from mental health disorders to stop going to treatment because it simply becomes too painful to have to open yourself up every week (or 2-3 times per week). She can write that it is acute, but in the long run you will be able to demonstrate that you have had the condition for a long period of time.

    When it comes to what the benefit is. First and foremost it is ensuring you have access to care for the rest of your life. When people keep reminding me that I've been in therapy for 25 months, it comes as a massive shock. I don't even remember the last two years of my life. My estranged daughter just turned 16 yesterday, I would have bet $1000 she was only turning 15. Adjustment Disorder doesn't really have a good name to it, it can (and does) fuck you up.

    Yes, you will be in the Navy longer, however, getting the help you need (and the compensation you deserve) for it should be your number one goal.

    I'd just hate to see you get out of the service the quick way, and then have regrets about not getting a partial pension and medical care.
     
  10. MarkItZero

    MarkItZero Registered Member

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    I do like the idea of having available care to help me continue to work through this even after I'm out, but the idea of prolonging this any longer than necessary makes me want to just jump off a bridge. This Friday I'm seeing my doc again to get a second memorandum confirming my diagnosis, and after I turn that in to legal then they should pass it along to the CO for approval (at least that's how the process was explained to me). Supposedly after he signs it he returns it to legal for a week of processing, and then it goes to PSD for 10 days for a final processing and then I discharge after those 10 days. If that's not how the process works someone please let me know.
     

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