Posted on May 24, 2021
SPC Engagement Controller
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So recently I found out my commander had asked my PCM for some results on some issues I'm having with my heart. I didn't even know my results yet because I was waiting on my follow up, but someone the commander was able to get it before me without signing anything saying that I give permission
Posted in these groups: Commander badge CommanderPushup improvement ProfilesEms Medical
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SFC Intelligence Analyst
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Under the Military Command Exception, a covered entity may disclose the PHI of Service members for authorized activities to appropriate military command authorities. It is important to note that this exception does not require covered entities to disclose PHI to commanders, it only permits the disclosure. If disclosure is made, then only the minimum amount of information necessary should be provided. Further, the Exception does not permit a Commander’s direct access to a Service member’s electronic medical record, unless otherwise authorized by the Service member or the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

(From a PDF info paper that's in the second link).

https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Privacy-and-Civil-Liberties/HIPAA-Compliance-within-the-MHS/Military-Command-Exception

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) permits protected health information (PHI) of Armed Forces personnel to be disclosed under special circumstances. Commonly referred to as the Military Command Exception, covered entities such as military treatment facilities may disclose the PHI of Armed Forces personnel to Command authorities for authorized activities.

These activities include fitness for duty determinations, fitness to perform a particular assignment, or other activities necessary for the military mission. PHI disclosed to military command authorities, while no longer subject to HIPAA, remains protected under the Privacy Act of 1974.

https://www.army.mil/article/46296/release_of_protected_health_information_to_commanders

It seems a little grey area since commanders can request PHI to determine readiness...but not sure about the direct access to medical records. You may want to see about talking to patient advocacy at the hospital. Perhaps JAG? It's a bit iffy the commander got the results before you did.
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SPC Engagement Controller
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12 mo
Thanks for the quick response SFC, I'll definitely be looking into this soon
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SSgt Christophe Murphy
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There are exceptions made for Military Commands. There are clear rules that manage it. If you feel that your HIPAA rights were not upheld speak to patient relations but I would walk through everything before you ring that bell because they are probably within the boundaries of Military Command Exception. https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Privacy-and-Civil-Liberties/HIPAA-Compliance-within-the-MHS/Military-Command-Exception
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SPC Engagement Controller
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12 mo
Thank you for the advice, I'm gonna speak with patient advocacy
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CPT Operations Officer
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Medical providers will sometimes call the commander directly if there is a significant readiness or safety concern. “This Soldier should not be doing physical activity until we get a better idea of what’s going on,” “this Soldier is non-deployable due to behavioral health issues,” etc. If you were put on a temporary or permanent profile, they entered it into an automated system that the commander can view.
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CPT Lawrence Cable
CPT Lawrence Cable
12 mo
In this case, with the soldier having Heart issues, if I were the Commander, I would at least want to know what limitations on duty this soldier needs. That should be spelled out in a profile, but if the Primary Care Physician hasn't done a profile yet, it would still be prudent to know some limits.
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