Though there is no evidence of massive disregard for the privacy rules, fear of job repercussions is not entirely unfounded.
In 1998, for example, an Atlanta truck driver lost his job when his employer learned from his insurance company that he had sought treatment for a drinking problem, according to one of scores of stories about privacy breeches posted on the Health Privacy Project’s web site.
“The fear of disclosure, the fear of loss of benefits, the fear that people will be adversely affected in their jobs continues,” project director Janlori Goldman told HR News.
The most concerned? Minorities and those with on-going health problems.