Illinois nurse claims she was fired for refusing to violate HIPAA: 4 details

A nurse in southern Illinois claims she was fired from the Clinton County Health Department in April after she refused to violate HIPAA, according to a report from the Belleville News-Democrat.

Four things to know:

1. Diane Kuhl was working as a part-time nurse when law enforcement agencies requested the names and addresses of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19, she said. She refused to provide that information, citing privacy protection laws, and was later fired from the department, she said.

2. Ms. Kuhl sued Clinton County Health Department over her firing, alleging that she would have broken the law and risked losing her nursing license if she provided the requested information to law enforcement.

3. The Clinton County Sheriff's Department and police chiefs requested the information about COVID-19 positive individuals to protect law enforcement officials responding to 911 calls, according to the Belleville News-Democrat. The Illinois Department of Public Health recommended all first responders act as if individuals are COVID-19 positive.

4. Instead of handing over the information directly to law enforcement, Ms. Kuhl said she suggested providing the sensitive information to the Clinton County Health Department medical director to make the final decision on whether to release the information.



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