HIPPA Violation


Active Member
The first psychiatric hospital that Kanga was at had sent a bill to her school for "tutoring" while inpatient. I'm LIVID because I did not tell them the name of the school nor did I sign consent for them to speak to the school. Now the school has sent me a letter saying that "the IEP team needs to meet and determine whether or not she needs home/hospital tutoring". Do they really think I care AT ALL what their opinion is????????


New Member
The teacher and school case manager Buffy had for 9th and 10th grade turned out to be the inpatient psychiatric hospital tutor she had while inpatient in grade 7. AND this teacher/case manager blabbed that she knew Buffy from the psychiatric hospital to anyone who would listen- other students, other teachers, even spoke up about it in our due process hearing.....
I tried to have something done about this violation of HIPPA but, I never did get anywhere with it.
But now, I cannot remember for sure, BUT - I am wondering, - for reasons of collecting for services, - does that make it not be a HIPPA violation? I cannot remember?

Sadly what I found out by experience was that it did not matter how any "release of information" forms I flat out refused to sign....at school at our county mental health agency, thru WRAP and SASS, and at our local psychiatric hospital........it did not matter. THose people, when they wanted to wag their tongues, they did. ANd i never did get anyone to enforce such things.
I, myself was an employee of the same county health dept.....and more than once I would be in a restaurant, or at our local community college (taking classes) or at some work related event- and I would hear them---gossiping in my earshot about my children and my childrens diagnosis'es, treatment etc. I caught school personnel discussing same with my next door neighbor who does in home day care for school personnels children.....could hear them talking thru my bedroom window while they talked on my neighbors driveway.
I had more than one doctor call me to let me know school people had tried to call them-- getting the docs name off Rx bottles the school nurse had from medications that were to be administered dureing school day.


Here we go again!
I had one of our district "crisis intervention" psychologists call difficult child's therapist at home (they happen to be old friends) to get the low down on difficult child (and probably me as well) after he brought a Swiss Army Knife to school. I found out about it through the principal who told me about the conversation. I later called the psychiatrist to find out what was discussed, but all the while I had this uneasy feeling like they were violating some kind of confidentiality, HIPPA or otherwise, since I'd never met the guy and certainly had signed no consent forms prior to meeting him. I guess at this point, it's not worth pursuing since everyone seems to be working with me to get difficult child evaluated and services provided (at least that's what they've got me believing).

I don't know enough about how things get billed back to schools that are responsible for covering services, but maybe what was done in your case, JJJ, falls under that category/jurisdiction, whatever. It kinda does wave a red flag for me, though, too.


New Member
OK heres what I am thinking- altho I could be WAY wrong------I am not sure.

I think- the school district where you live, the one your kids would naturally go to based on where you live- the public school district- is responsible for certain things--certain costs? such as an inpatient tutor. I think it does not matter where your child actually does go to school- even if yur child goes out of district or to private school or whatever- I think the bill for inpat tutoring is still the responsibility of the school dist where you live?
And I think- that when it is for collecting for services rendered in hospital- the hospital IS permitted to go and submit the bill to the school for reason of collecting payment.

Now as for school refuseing to pay bill, or wanting to try to not pa the bill? As for them wanting to determine if the iep team feels it was needed? I am not sure they have a leg to stand on. As a general rule, hosps do not keep ppl who do not NEED to be there. (generally speaking) and anyway YOU are part of the IEP team, too..LOL- so- well that means you are part of the decision makeing process? BUT I do not think they can over ride this and not pay this bill. Altho, I am not surpised they want to play games about it all and try to not pay it. AND......sadly- IIRC most hospitals have you sign something saying if noone else DOES in fact pay a hospital bill, - then the ultimate responsibility is YOURS? (altho I think in this case, they simply cannot force YOU to do so------in my opinion they might TRY to play hardball and try to scare you into paying it yourself, both the school and the hospital, but I don't think they really CAN)
BUT I THINK (am not sure) that for purposes of collecting - HIPPA maybe does not apply?


Well-Known Member
I think Dreamer makes some very logical points. Have you considered putting this on the Special Education forum?


Active Member
Hi! It's actually a Federal violation. When difficult child 3 was suspended by the principal and vice principal, they notified me by screaming it down the main corridor in front of parents, faculty and students. It's something called "FERPA" Federal Education Right to Privacy Act.

Although the school district has the right to reconvene the IEP team to discuss need/adjustment to the IEP, I don't believe that they should be in contact with the psychiatric hospital. (There's your HIPPA violation) itself. It could be standard practice at the psychiatric hospital to bill the district itself first and then if they don't come through bill the parents. You can find that out by playing nice with the billing department at the hospital.

We're still trying to find an attorney that will help us expose this type of violation in the schools. Sadly, everyone assumes you're out to get big bucks, rather than correct a wrong in a school.

Good luck "D-Cubed"!



Active Member
I spoke to the psychiatric hospital. They admitted they messed up. I have a meeting on Thursday with their patient advocate. All I want is to have a face-to-face with the person who screwed up, to explain why it is important that she/he ensure that they have consent before sending things to the school district. So many parents of regular ed kids don't understand how hostile schools can be to special kids.


call 911........call 911
Believe me or not - throw rocks or cans.....

I've said it once over the years and I'll say it here...

HIPAA ONLY seems to protect the crooks -

The ones that have your kid in the psychiatric hospital - so that you can't go in and see where your kids are at, how they are living because it is a violation of HIPAA to see other clients while seeing our own children - yet junk like what you are talking about happens MORE AND MORE to the point where I am almost anti - HIPAA -

And for the lady that wants to blab it all over - I think I would draw a picture of her tiny head with a huge HUGE mouth and post it in the school hallway -

Or every time I saw her take my fingers, pull my mouth as WIDE as I can left and right and while doing so say.....I CAN KEEP A SECRET - EACH and every time I saw her.

I'll sketch something for you if you like.

And what DOES it mean when someone violates a HIPAA law? Does anyone know who you contact? Is it free legal service? Like I said - it seems to prevent the parents from seeing how their children are really taken care of in a therapeutic setting thus protecting the staff - not the kids.

I would like to know -


member since 1999
Unbelievable, JJJ. Absolutely unbelievable.

Worse than the HIPAA violation, I simply cannot believe that the SD has the you-know-whats to request yet another IEP mtg, so they can (forgiven my skepticism) refuse to provide appropriate services and gather "information" to file yet another "child abuse/neglect" report. Quite frankly, it's gone beyond harrassment, in my humble opinion.

I'd go to mtg (do you have another body you can take with you - lawyer or advocate would be best, but at this stage of the game, a witness would be just as good). I'd make it short and sweet. Kanga is in hospital. SD is responsible to provide educational services. Medical necessity is not the SD's concern. She cannot received educational benefit if educational services are not provided. Either provide them or not, and document it. Period. End of discussion. In and out in 10 minutes.

I'm just fuming for you - and wish *I* could be your witness. ;)