At Kreindler & Associates, Client Confidentiality is of Paramount Importance
Being a whistleblower is one of the most difficult yet noble roles that a person can undertake. We admire your courage and willingness to stand up for what is just and for trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately, as you may have found out, whistleblowers often face a difficult ordeal in their admirable efforts to stop fraud against the government.
Our firm seeks to reduce the stress and burden involved. We do this, in part, by being particularly sensitive to confidentiality issues. We treat all information received from clients and potential clients with great care to preserve the confidentiality under which it is provided. Please be responsible about how you submit evidence to us. File encryption, secure file upload or physical delivery of a flash drive or other media is recommended.
During our evaluation of your allegations, our communications are, by law, regarded as protected by the attorney-client privilege. We ensure that your information and identity will be treated with complete confidentiality. Our commitment and obligation to maintain such confidentiality extends to all cases we consider, including those for which we are not retained.
If we represent you in a False Claims Act case or under government whistleblower program, we will work with you to keep your identity confidential for as long as possible.
A note regarding HIPAA
Many healthcare whistleblowers are appropriately concerned about maintaining patient confidentiality and privacy when collecting evidence of wrongdoing by a healthcare provider. You should be aware that there is a specific exception to requirements of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) that permits a whistleblower to provide evidence of fraud to an attorney if the whistleblower believes in “good faith” that the health care provider “has engaged in conduct that is unlawful or otherwise violates professional or clinical standards, or that the care, services, or conditions provided by the covered entity potentially endangers one or more patients, workers, or the public.”
The exception is located at 45 C.F.R. 164.502(j) and provides, in part:
(j) Standard: Disclosures by whistleblowers and workforce member crime victims
(1) Disclosures by whistleblowers. A covered entity is not considered to have violated the requirements of this subpart if a member of its workforce or a business associate discloses protected health information, provided that:
(i) The workforce member or business associate believes in good faith that the covered entity has engaged in conduct that is unlawful or otherwise violates professional or clinical standards, or that the care, services, or conditions provided by the covered entity potentially endangers one or more patients, workers, or the public; and
(ii) The disclosure is to:
(A) A health oversight agency or public health authority authorized by law to investigate or otherwise oversee the relevant conduct or conditions of the covered entity or to an appropriate health care accreditation organization for the purpose of reporting the allegation of failure to meet professional standards or misconduct by the covered entity; or
(B) An attorney retained by or on behalf of the workforce member or business associate for the purpose of determining the legal options of the workforce member or business associate with regard to the conduct described in paragraph (j)(1)(i) of this section.
You can view the entire provision here.