It’s Your Call November 2018

OSHA: Our office hired a clinical worker who does not have proof of Hepatitis B 3-shot series. Can we just provide a pre-employment titer?

No. If an employee does not have proof, offer a 3-dose series of hepatitis B vaccine, test for anti-HBs in 1–2 months, and document the result in the employee’s health record. The other option is for the employee to sign a declination. The CDC reports that long-term immunity has only been demonstrated for people attaining an adequate anti-HBs (titer) result of at least 10 mIU/mL after completing a full hepatitis B vaccination series.

HIPAA: Our office received a Power of Attorney from a lady who claims to be a patient’s niece. However, the patient’s son says that his mother’s signature was forged. How can we verify whether the Power of Attorney is legitimate before we disclose any information?

First, if possible, verify with the patient directly. Several sources suggest contacting the register of deeds.  Because of the potential liability in the above scenario, it is best to seek legal counsel or consult with a risk manager.