I work at a medical facility answering the phones and scheduling appointments for multiple doctor’s across multiple locations. Not quite a usual call center but I hope you all appreciate the story anyways.
Yesterday I answered the phone and the woman introduced herself as “Nancy” (no last name) from the state vocational rehabilitation program. Great, hi Nancy, how can I help you? “I need you to send me the records of Jane Doe”. Since we are a medical office I cannot just give out records to anyone due to HIPAA so I check Jane’s file and see that Nancy is not Jane’s case manager. In addition to HIPAA, the vocational rehabilitation organization dictates that we cannot release records to anyone except the case manager. We can’t even give them to the patient!
Me: I’m so sorry Nancy, according to my records you are not the case manager for Jane Doe. As such I cannot release her records to you today.
Nancy: but I’m from vocational rehabilitation! We have an agreement with organization for you to do the testing and for us to have the rights to the records.
Me: I understand that ma’am but again, I am only authorized to release the case manager. In addition since you are calling on the phone I have no way to verify that you are who you claim to be and cannot be sure you are even a representative from vocational rehabilitation. If you would like the records sent over you will need to have the case manager call or send a certified records request.
Nancy: this is ridiculous. We have an agreement with you for access to the records. I’m going to speak with my manager about this.
Me: wonderful. If they have any questions I would be more than happy to speak with them
Of course that isn’t the end of the story (otherwise why would I be posting here). I called my manager to make sure I handled the situation correctly. She said yes, I did my ‘yay I didn’t violate state/federal laws dance’ and went back to work. Not even 2 minutes later I get a call.
Caller: I would like to speak to your manager
Me: of course, may I say who is calling?
Caller: I’d rather remain anonymous.
Me: manager I have Nancy on the line and she’d like to speak with you.
She spent 5 mintues being schooled by my manager on HIPAA laws and our contract between organizations and why her call was completely inappropriate. Her manager also got a call since this isn’t the first time the wrong people have called expecting records, just the first time someone really fought us on it.