On Reddit, poster akm91 reached out to get advice for an issue in which a bully from high school reappeared, and an old problem intersected with a new one.
It all took place in the psych ward, where the akm91 was receiving treatment.
Akm91 lived in a small town of 4,000 people in New York and was surprised to see that her high school bully was working in the hospital as an aide.Mayte Torres/Getty Images
After finishing treatment, Akm91 wanted to go out and socialize, so they went to some local bars and restaurants to see friends and acquaintances. But akm91 couldn’t enjoy a night out because of the stares and odd treatment akm91 received from the people they encountered:
I was wondering why I was getting stared at when I went out to the bars. I would see people I went to high school with, would wave to them, and they would pretty much give me a weird look and walk away.
Akm91 was suspicious that the bully had something to do with it. But it was confirmed when a friend confided that the bully, a woman, was spreading her personal information:
This woman has been telling everyone in my town that I was suicidal, in the hospital, and some kind of insane person apparently. I’m absolutely livid.
Akm91 was looking for advice on how they could get justice for what the woman had done. Akm91 was not looking to sue the aide or the hospital, but wanted the woman to lose her job for spreading personal patient information and violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act:
I want this woman to lose her job and be barred from working in the medical community, since she doesn’t respect patient privacy laws. I’m not looking to sue the hospital or her. I just want justice for her turning me into a social pariah.
The act was passed by Congress in 1996 in part to protect patient rights, which are usually included on Notice of Privacy Practice forms given to patients before treatment. The notice must contain information about how the patient’s rights will be protected and how to report a violation to the organization should it happen.
Other Reddit users responded, offering validation and legal advice on how akm91 could report the issue.
User Felmyst commented:
This is a glaring HIPAA violation, and Ms. Bully has almost certainly ruined her own career. At least she’ll get a sweet, sweet dose of karma. But as someone who’s been admitted to psych wards multiple times for suicide attempts or suicidal behaviors, I’m so sorry this is happening on top of what you were already going through.
User Iamnearfromnormal noted:
When making the HIPAA complaint you might want to avoid mentioning the bit about the person being a childhood bully. Not only is it irrelevant information (it should suffice to just say the person is known to you from your hometown), but there’s always the possibility that it could put your motives into question. Just my $0.02.
But Catseye99 probably put it best:
What’s wrong with all these people that they had this reaction to someone who has a health issue?! Being suicidal doesn’t make you crazy and shouldn’t be something that makes them want to stare and not talk to you. WTF mate? Not sure they’re worth you bothering to talking to. S***ty people all around.
Hopefully, akm91 will be able to get justice for what the woman did when akm91 was feeling the most vulnerable.