It’s Your Call September 2020

September 15, 2020 / It's Your Call

OSHA:  My employee wants to go to their own doctor for a respirator medical evaluation. What does OSHA say about this?

OSHA’s standard 1910.134(e)(2)(i) requires employers to select a physician or other licensed health-care professional (PLHCP) to perform the medical evaluations. Typically, this is performed by a company physician or through an arrangement with a local health care facility. The employer may also choose to use the employee’s own physician to evaluate the employee’s ability to wear a respirator, in which case, both the physician’s fees and the employee’s time must be paid by the employer.

The employer needs to establish a relationship with, and provide each physician with a copy of the written respiratory protection program and a copy of section 1910.134(e). If the employer does not select the employee’s own doctor or any physician the employee prefers as the PLHCP and the employee goes to a physician of their own choosing, the employer would not be required to accept the evaluation or pay for the evaluation.

HIPAA: Our office received a postcard from Health and Human Services (HHS) about a mandatory HIPAA compliance risk assessment. How should we respond?

Alert your workforce members about this misleading communication.  It is not from HHS nor the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) but from a private entity.  Look for the OCR’s address or email address at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.html to verify the address for Headquarters and the Regional offices.  All OCR email addresses will end in @hhs.gov.

If your office has additional questions or concerns, please send an email to OCRMail@hhs.gov.

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