A former employee of a Portland, Oregan nursing home claims she was fired for reporting neglect of a patient.
Nurses' aide Stacy Molina has filed a lawsuit for $575,000 against the nursing home, for firing her because she reported that a patient had developed a large decubitus ulcer that became infected because the staff were allegedly neglecting the patient's wound.
Stacy Molina was employed as a nursing assistant when she took some sick time because she was suffering from the flu. When she returned to work she noticed that one of her patients had a large, infected decubitus ulcer on his leg.
Molina believed the ulcer was due to neglect and reported it to the nurse educator at the facility.
Shortly after she was terminated and her supervisors informed her that it was because she had violated the patient's right to privacy in accordance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
HIPAA is the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The goal of the law is to protect the confidentiality of personal health records and maintain the security of healthcare information. It also functions to help the healthcare industry control administrative costs.
Molina filed secured an attorney and filed a suit claiming that the facility fired her for attempting to expose the facility for neglect of a patient.