updates: the gossiper, the coffee tantrum, and more

Here are four updates from people who had their letters answered here this year.

1. The person who reviews our work gossips about it

Prior to writing my original letter to you I had expressed my concern to Beth but she did not want to take any action. I ended up telling my manager about the gossip that was shared by the call reviewer, Mary to her friend Beth who then shared with me. I approached it in much the same way as you suggested. She was shocked and said she would address it with Mary. I did not name Beth, only Mary.

I was then unexpectedly out of the office for a few weeks as my father passed away; I never thought anything more about the situation until I noticed that Beth (who I had also been friends with) had removed me from all social media. I texted her while I was off on bereavement and she never replied to my texts.

Going back to work after my time off, I was nervous and had butterflies as I had no idea what had transpired while I was out. I could only assume after my manager spoke with Mary that she turned around to Beth who identified me as the whistleblower. When I returned to work my manager was on vacation so I was unable to ask her what exactly had unfolded. I met with HR as I was concerned that Mary would not be able to fairly review my calls knowing I had ratted her out. HR was a waste of time as they likened it to me making a mistake on my job and that everyone makes mistakes and deserves second chances to fix them. I explained making a mistake at work is different than breaching confidentially, as if I did that I would be fired. Overall, I am glad I spoke with HR as I wanted something on the record in case my call review scores began to go down.

When my manager got back the following week, I explained to her what happened. She said Mary was very embarrassed by what happened and had now signed a confidentially clause. I personally felt that Mary turning around and telling Beth about the situation (there’s no other way I would be named) somewhat breached confidentially a second time. However, my manager advised that people are allowed to talk about if they had a bad day at work, etc, and that she is in a difficult decision as neither Mary or Beth outright said anything to me, which I understood. She agreed to be present in all my call reviews going forward and monitor the situation if my scores went down. That was the end of it for the most part.

Beth has never spoken to me again outside of work related issues (we used to have lunch together most days). The call reviewer, Mary, did one more round of call reviews (she was professional) and then the more senior management decided to suspend all call reviews until the new year based on overwhelmingly negative feedback about the process. I like to think my complaint had something to do with that decision. The good news is, I recently found another job, so I no longer have to deal with that workplace. I don’t regret my decision to tell my manager, even though I lost a friend, because I really do feel it was the moral thing to do.

2. My boss is out of her gourd and threw a fit about my coffee

I decided to stick it out with my crazy boss through the end of 2017. Shortly after my original letter I was asked to start doing really sketchy stuff involving with changing medical documents. I was assured it perfectly fine to do but on the other hand I was told the nurse in the office refused to change them because she felt it was wrong hence while I was asked to do.

Fast forward to June and this nurse was suddenly “laid off” with a big severance. My husband and I were in the process of buying a house and I couldn’t afford to lose my job so I kept doing it. Back in September I started questioning what I was doing to my coworkers and if it was legal and they just brushed it off. My boss got increasingly rude and angry with me. Including an incident where she came into my office down the hall and around corner from her own office and screamed in my face to turn off my radio and to never, ever, EVER play music in my office ever again. I kept it at a respectable level and was far away from any other offices so not sure why it was a problem. It was humiliating.

Well I returned from a vacation at the end of October and I was told my employment was being terminated (at the end of the day after I caught up on all my work). I was told they no longer had a full time HR position AND I complained to much about the changing medical documents task. I NEVER EVER complained to her about it ever. I asked for a time or example where I complained and she couldn’t provide one nor any example of issues with my work quality. Obviously one of my coworkers told her I was questioning what I was doing which is why she let me go. I was offered two week severance but refused to accept because of the crazy document I had to sign.

The first thing I did after applying for unemployment was report her to the Dept of Health for falsifying of documentation. My unemployment was approved and the DOH was very interested in my report. I’m not sure if they have been investigated yet but hopefully they will. Crazy boss still reached out to my via my coworker WhatsApp trying to convince me what I was doing wasn’t wrong shortly after I was let go and wanted to know why I wasn’t accepting her severance. I ignored her and deleted the app and ceased contact with all of them.

Best ending though is I found a job less then three weeks later and start next week at better pay and more responsibilities! Thanks for all your advice everyone!

3. Reaching out after declining an offer (#5 at the link)

I was really glad to have some language suggestions from you before reaching out to my HR contact. Long story short… it worked! In the time since you posted my letter, I have relocated and started my new job. I’m so glad I was able to revisit this opportunity and pursue something new. Thank you!

4. How do I mentally move on after not getting the job?

I have a positive update I would like to share.

First, thank you for answering my question. Being stuck in such a dysfunctional job, it seemed devastating to feel like I was starting back at square one, especially after going through such a lengthy interview process and being so excited about the potential job opportunity. Your advice and hearing from the readers helped me mentally put that position behind me and focus on continuing my job search. And, I am happy to share that only a month after not getting what I thought was a fantastic job opportunity, I was offered another position with better pay, benefits, and a fantastic working environment. I have now been in this position for nearly six months and I couldn’t be happier!

On a side note, I recently learned that the company where the job was that I missed out on, lost out on a major grant that funded the majority of their operations. So, a couple of months ago they had to layoff a lot of people, including the position that I thought was so perfect. Your advice, “You’re not going to be stuck at this one for the rest of your life. It might even be a better job than the one that just rejected you, who knows,” couldn’t have been more true!

{ 97 comments… read them below }

  1. Lady Phoenix

    #2: i may not be a lawyer, but I am pretty sure that falsifying inportant documents like medical forms constitutes as “Fraud”.

    I am glad you are out,
    You reported so ething fishy, and that you are out before the shit hits the fan.

    1. Amber T

      The nosy person in me really wants another update if you ever find out anything else! Glad you’re out of there and in a new job!!

      1. SophieChotek

        Yes, me too. (Though it sounds like we won’t know, unless the come back to OP for more information.)

    2. rubyrose

      Yes, it is fraud. Anyone who decided to sue the practice for whatever reason and got their hands on altered documents has a big payday coming.

      1. LKW

        Depending on what was falsified, there could be a potential whistleblower payout too. If you were falsifying medical codes to increase payments from medicaid/medicare you may be entitled to a portion of whatever they can claim back.

      1. Pine cones huddle

        I once worked for someone who very adamantly and often proclaimed that she was taught that you should anything and everything your boss tells you to do unless it was unethical, immoral, or illegal. Then she proceeded to tell me to do unethical things and threw a tantrum when I protested. [eye roll]

    3. Anion

      At a previous job my husband’s boss asked him to do something like this. He did it, not knowing it was fraud.

      Boss got caught, husband almost lost his job (luckily upper mgmt knew him/believed him when he said he had no idea it was against the rules, and his cheerful acknowledgment that he’d made the changes probably helped there–but some people eyed him suspiciously for a while and he was first to go when they made cutbacks). Both almost came up on criminal charges.

      It was bad.

  2. Detective Amy Santiago

    #1 – good luck on your new job! I hope you do not have dramariffic coworkers like Beth and Mary.

    1. The Supreme Troll

      Exactly. And I don’t think Beth was really a good friend at all if her reaction was such. Beth needed to understand this situation rationally, and understand the seriousness that the OP was explaining about it to her.

  3. The Strand

    I’m sorry to hear about OP #1, and your friendship with Beth being no more, but overall good news for everyone! OP2, I hope that your boss gets the investigation she thoroughly deserves. Trust your former colleague the nurse – if she didn’t believe it was kosher behavior, it wasn’t.

  4. AKchic

    #2 sounds like fraud. If your boss was accepting insurance, please contact the insurance companies she was accepting money from and let them know. Be the whistleblower. It is necessary. If you can reach out to the former colleague, do so.
    Congratulations on the better job.

    1. Pollygrammer

      If you have a copy of the NDA they wanted you to sign in exchange for severance, it might be worth holding on to.

      1. AKchic

        Usually when people are given shady documents, they aren’t allowed to take a copy for review before signing. Oh how I wish though, right? Especially if the boss had already signed their portion in anticipation of the employee signing. Makes it so much easier to scan it for easy posting to the internet for all and sundry to see (and laugh at).

        1. Candi

          I heard that one woman was left alone with the doc in the office, and took pics with her phone. (Overlapping, because it was a full page.) She also refused to sign. Certain parties were verrrrry interested.

          Boss apparently forgot the most cardinal rule of bullying people into doing what you want. Don’t give them a chance to think. (Jerks.)

    2. EddieSherbert

      +1

      I’m sorry about the circumstances, but very glad you were able to find a better job! That woman is off her rocker and EXTREMELY sketchy!

  5. Jam Today

    I’d recommend contacting your state’s Attorney General’s office and CMS (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) regarding altering medical records. There could be any number of reasons for doing it, but insurance fraud (or Medicare or Medicaid fraud) is the most likely.

        1. Runner

          Maybe, but not usually, especially when the whistleblower is the original source voluntarily alerting the government of fraud not already known, and who did not initiate the scheme. This is how insiders with knowledge of fraud are encouraged to alert government.

          1. Candi

            The most likely way a whistleblower would get in trouble is if they started off a new crime in the company on their own initative. Did happen. Guy secretly blew, and helped the -FBI, DOJ? something like that- collect evidence.

            Welllll, the methods by which they were collecting the evidence also showed Whistleblower had started embezzling after blowing the whistle. So while he wasn’t charged for the other white-collar felonies involved, he did get smacked on the embezzlement.

  6. LBK

    #2 Oooh, please keep us posted if you hear anything further about the investigation, I’d love for her to truly get her comeuppance. Sounds like she’s getting a little panicky with you not accepting the terms of the severance.

    1. Bostonian

      I agree! This is a quintessential example showing why it’s best to move on from the disappointment of not getting a particular opportunity. Not only did OP find something better, but the opportunity that was missed ended up disintegrating months later.

    1. Pollygrammer

      Gossiping, accepting inappropriate perks from friends, drunken gloating…I wouldn’t lose much sleep over losing her as a “friend.”

      1. The Supreme Troll

        100% agree; it was apparent that Beth was lacking in the best ethical judgement. And, yes, even if she did get found out (indirectly) by the OP’s boss, Beth should have taken the higher road – and tried to understand where the OP was coming from.

        1. Anion

          A decent person would have felt uncomfortable being told those things to begin with (meaning Beth, of course, not the LW).

  7. 2 Cents

    #4 I’m glad things turned out well for you!

    I was in a similar position–hated my OldJob and just wanted out. A “dream job” opportunity fell into my lap, and I was already setting up my new desk in my head. Then the job never came through. 10 months later, the entire organization folded, and I would’ve been unemployed.

    1. Artemesia

      My husband was unemployed for a year after following me to a job. He finally got two offers in one week and ended up taking the one that paid a bit less for a variety of reasons but was really second guessing himself and then 6 weeks later that job was eliminated and the person who had accepted was out of work. It would have just killed us after struggling for a year with our decision to uproot his better paying job for my job in a limited opportunity field. Glad your choice worked out.

  8. Nox

    #1] I work in remote QA and it’s reasons like this that is why companies come to us to review calls. We can’t play favorites if we don’t know who you are. That being said QA is a vital function of any call center when fine correctly so hopefully they find a process that is fair to all.

    1. Pollygrammer

      Wouldn’t it be standard to sign a confidentially clause on Day 1? It seems like a pretty vital thing for a position like that.

  9. SallytooShort

    #3 I’m SO happy that this worked out!

    #4 It’s really great to hear about getting over what seems, at the time, like horrible stumbling blocks

    All the fun drama of some posts aside (which I love) it’s these two that really demonstrate the value of this site. Good, solid advice that works.

  10. Bea

    I am so thirsty for shady jerkwad employers to get taken to task and possibly put out of business with their illegal behaviors. I hope that she’s destroyed when they come for those altered records.

  11. KS

    “The first thing I did after applying for unemployment was report her to the Dept of Health for falsifying of documentation. My unemployment was approved and the DOH was very interested in my report.” Ahhhhhh that’s satisfying.

  12. Oranges

    So many questions for #2 I am all of the curious about what the changes were.

    Also what was the reasons? Is it submitting (padded) bills for the insurance company to pay and therefore it’s basically over-billing the insurance company? How would you get that to fly under the radar? I suppose my doctors could do so but I’m assuming there’s safeguards in place?

    Also so horribly sketchy.

    1. Lynca

      I don’t work in medical billing but I have spent so much time with hospital bills that I know that I have caught billing or care itemization changes the insurance company didn’t. So I don’t know if there are any. My mother worked briefly in a Medicaid Fraud Unit and most of what they caught were billing discrepancies from providers.

    2. SallytooShort

      I feel like that has to be it. It’s pretty easy to slip under the radar in the short-term. But it’ll come back to haunt you eventually.

      I think a lot of providers find ways to justify it to themselves too. Like “we do so much soft care that insurers/medicaid/medicare don’t cover.” “Insurers/medicaid/medicare are always low-balling us on this.”

      Of course, it all rings hollow. But I bet the employer really believed she wasn’t doing anything wrong (in the moral sense) and “everyone does it.”

    3. OP #2

      Hey all! OP #2 here! It was small home health agency and we employed CNA’s and few RN’s and one LPN (she was the one termed for refusing to change stuff). We were private pay and LTC insurance only so no medicare or medicaid excepted so def NOT billing fraud. Owner was a neurotic person and was obsessed with being audited by the state and was convinced they were coming any moment to do our 3 year visit. She wanted everything perfect so she wanted all the electronic medical charting that CNA’s did over the phone or via the charting app to PERFECTLY match the care plan and have no errors. I had to spot check the charting and change anything that wasn’t suppose to be on there or add anything that was suppose to be on there. Also if they missed charting on a shift I was told to plug in whatever should have been done per the care plan without verifying with the CNA or client that those tasks were actually done. So example if an aide charted they gave medication and they weren’t suppose to I was to remove it from the chart. Again all of this was electronic so I think she thought it was safe to change after the fact with out it coming back to the office. Now we did have certain aides who hand wrote charting BUT she was making them come back to the office and correct there own charting and make it perfect even if the wrote it wrong or didn’t complete the task they had to redo all the charting even months after the fact to make it perfect and match the care plan. Again nuts!!! She was convinced if she could prove what I changed was right it wasn’t wrong to change the documentation. That is what she wrote to me after I refused to sign the severance document. I have not heard anything from the DOH besides a follow up call not to long after my report to ask some questions. You can check the DOH website in our state to see all the complaints and if they were founded or not but I haven’t seen anything come up yet but I image it could take time.

      1. sap

        “So example if an aide charted they gave medication and they weren’t suppose to I was to remove it from the chart…”

        This (and the general type of changes) sounds incredibly dangerous to patient health and well-being. If patients were getting meds they shouldn’t have by accident and then having the record of that erased, the doctors trying to fix that would be deprived of vital information. Same with having information filled in as “what it should have been” if nothing was written down–does that include vitals that weren’t taken, procedures that weren’t necessarily performed?

        This sounds way worse than billing fraud. Billing fraud is just theft; this stuff could kill patients.

        1. ArtK

          I was thinking the same thing. It could amount to destroying evidence to cover up malpractice. It’s an extremely bad idea and I don’t blame the OP or the fired LPM for resisting.

      2. Oranges

        As a person with a chronic condition this makes me feel like the robot in “Lost in Space”. NOT OKAY. NOT AT ALL. NOPE. Nope. no no non etc…

      3. AKchic

        Oh. My. Glob. No, just no. Some of that just flies in the face of patient safety. If meds were given (even OTC) and it doesn’t specify it in the treatment plan, it still needs to go in the patient chart. You don’t erase what was done simply because it doesn’t match what *should* have been done in order to follow the treatment plan to the letter. You can write an addendum to the treatment plan necessary, or write a justification for temporarily modifying or going against the treatment plan or adding to the care plan temporarily. That is what treatment notes are for, to document interactions and to partially justify why decisions were made at the time they were made and whether they were supported by the treatment plan or if there was an extenuating circumstance and if it will be followed up with an addendum to the plan, if a referral is required to a specialist or if someone needs to be seen for a follow-up (or something else).

        What your boss did was extremely dangerous and could have put client lives in danger. EMR is supposed to help ensure that everyone has access to the charts and ensure that everyone can get the data into the charts faster, and everyone understands that human error will *always* be a factor. Yes, it’s wanted to be as perfect as possible, but it’s humans entering data about human beings. There will always be minor errors and there will always be discrepancies when dealing with treatment on humans and case plans can be fluid depending on the case.

        1. Jennifer Thneed

          Thank you! I’m a tech writer currently working in biotech and I’ve been learning about “lab notebooks”. This is where people put in their processes, notes, observations, etc, and a witness who is qualified to understand the information must also sign and date. It all has to be in blue or black ink, and corrections must be made accountant-style (single cross-thru so it can still be read, correction dated & initialed) — and this is the part that I love — unused portions of the page get crossed out (and dated & initialed).

          These are some thoroughly HAND-WRITTEN records, and they are maintained in such a way that they can be audited. They *are* audited. They can be presented in court cases. They tickle my slightly-obsessive heart.

          And so I hear about this kind of record falsification after working with my colleagues, and I’m just extra grossed-out by the … I dunno, the casual audacity? No, that implies that the boss really thought about what she was asking for, beyond just “keep the records tidy”. Maybe “criminal ignorance” is what I want.

          1. AKchic

            Maybe even “criminally willful negligence” depending on the thought processes of the person doing the record-keeping. This story kept coming back to me all night. I wanted to email the link to former colleagues at my old job. I know the QA person loves real-life examples/stories for training.

      4. AKchic

        And please, don’t think I’m mad at you. I’m not. I am so glad you are out of there. Thank you for reporting your former boss.

      5. Oranges

        PS. The kinda funny thing is… I wouldn’t be surprised if 100% perfect wasn’t a red flag in an audit.

        1. Oranges

          PPS. I hope you told them about the nurse who refused. That would add weight. Or even reach out to her and see if she’s in a position to whistleblow on them too.

      6. SallytooShort

        Oh, no. That’s such a dangerous thing her her to do for so little pay back. I doubt that would really do much damage in an audit. It’s the norm. And, to the extent it had to be corrected, the way to deal with that is better training.

        I think we were just assuming your boss was rational. Despite your having given us no reason to believe so.

      7. Not So NewReader

        Oh my god. The implications here are huge. So if someone gave a patient the wrong med and the patient died, this woman could be labeled as covering up the error. yikes.

        Well I hope she leaves the medical field because she is not putting patients first. Eh, she is not even putting them second. If you ask me she is a pretty dangerous person, because she is so indifferent to human life.

        You know. My husband pointed out a funny thing about some auditing systems. They WILL find something wrong. So with her perfect records the auditors will just dig deeper until they find something. Hopefully the computer program has a track changes type of thing so forensics can find the deliberate pattern of changing things.

        Good on you for turning down the severance. They were just trying to pay for your silence. They knew they were in trouble when you said no. Honest places explain why a task is needed and they are able to explain why it is in keeping with laws/regs.

        1. bean

          Was just going to say this – any EMR system should have a ‘track changes’ type of function built in and always running, unable to be turned off, so they can see alterations that were made (and when, and by whom) – that should all show up if they go into the records in an audit.

          Also, I agree with the commenter above who suggested that you also alert them that a nurse was asked to alter records as well – and refused – and was terminated.

          WOW. Just, WOW. This is really bad. Puts patients at risk, and puts the medical licenses of those practicing and altering records at risk, and I would hazard a guess that it could also put the agency’s ability to get continued malpractice coverage at risk. WOW.

      8. Alie

        Yeah, she’s 100% wrong and you were right in reporting her. Compliance 101 states that you cannot bill for reimbursement. Even if staff aren’t documenting correctly, those documents can’t be changed, only amended. Since medical documentation should reflect care that was given (or not given) and billing is driven 100% by what is documented in the chart, this is basically fraud (even if it’s not Medicare/MA fraud, I’m sure the LTC insurance companies would be very interested in the outcome of the DOH investigation). If charting didn’t match the care plan and the company was paid in error, the correct thing to do is to a) amend the documentation to reflect what was done, or b) refund the insurance company and either bill according to the documentation or adjust off the bill.

        Signed – 13 years of medical billing experience.

        1. Oranges

          I’m trying to analyze why it reads worse than padding the bill. I agree but I’m trying to analyze why and it’s tough.

            1. Oranges

              Even without that. There’s a… lack of thinking about the patients as people. Like, fraudulently claiming you did something when you didn’t doesn’t negate the patient’s humanity as much as falsifying their records because of auditing anxiety.

              I’m trying to figure that out. Because it wasn’t just about safety but also the complete and utter indifference that’s bugging me in a way that’s hard to pin down.

          1. AKchic

            In one example given by LW, an attendant gave medication outside of the treatment plan. Let’s assume it was an OTC like ibuprofen. It was documented. LW was then requested to erase the note mentioning that the medication was administered because it wasn’t in the treatment plan, therefore they were *technically* out of compliance with the treatment plan.
            So, she deleted that reference. Say she deleted it within 12 hours of the note being added. The next attendant would not know that medication had been administered and could assume it was safe to give ibuprofen and gives some to the patient. It could be too dangerous to give in combination with the other medications the patient is on, and runs the risk of putting the client in distress or needing hospitalization.

            Or, let’s say the client has died as a result of administering too much of an OTC or even natural causes. An OTC was administered but because the LW was instructed to delete all mention of non-treatment plan medications, after an autopsy, it shows that other medications were in the patient’s system, it triggers an investigation because there is no mention of these medications in the chart, and that is a serious discrepancy. Was the care team negligent and accidentally killed the patient? Were they trying to kill the patient? Did the patient get a hold of the medications him/herself and self-administer? If so – where was the care team to ensure this didn’t happen? If the care team administered, why didn’t they document properly?

            The ex-boss plays a dangerous game of “follow the tx plan to the letter in the notes”. A treatment plan is considered a living document. It grows, it evolves, just like a patient does. It does not remain static.

            1. bean

              YUP. Or, let’s say that ibuprofen was given to a patient who can’t take ibuprofen because they’re not allowed to take NSAIDs because of kidney disease, or because it’ll interact with their other medications. And someone gave that patient ibuprofen and documented it in the chart, even though it wasn’t in that patient’s treatment plan. Or, let’s say a patient was given a medication outside of their treatment plan and it turns out the patient had an actual allergy to that medication, but the clinician documented in the chart that they had administered that medication. NOW, let’s imagine that the patient starts to have an allergic reaction. If you go back to the chart and see the truth, which was that the patient was given something to which they were allergic, that will inform appropriate treatment, and provide the most likely pathway to optimal treatment outcomes. HOWEVER, if the record were altered and did not reflect that the patient had been given the allergen, and then started having an allergic reaction, the treatment team would be at a great disadvantage. (Obviously there are better examples of this, but it’s late and I’m pulling this out of the air.)

              TL,DR: the chart must reflect reality. It shows what has happened, which informs how to proceed. If you alter that in a way that does not reflect reality, clinicians will be under-informed or misinformed, and as a result patient care can be severely compromised.

      9. Candi

        My jaw dropped in horror.

        I last had interaction with patient records nearly twenty years ago, during my clinicals. I still remember the rules.

        We had had it pounded into us in class that if mistakes were made on a chart, or their were discrepancies, you did not remove them. You documented out the wazoo, made notes, talked to whoever you had to to get THEIR notes… (Mrs. F, LPN, said in practice it was better to report to the nurses and let them deal with the doctors.) But it all added up to there being records of the errors and how they were dealt with.

        You also documented EVERYTHING. Everything. Even if it was a surprise or against what the patient was supposed to do. It was hammered into our heads absolutely complete records were the goal, they were essential.

        We were also taught perfect records were suspicious. The phrasing Mrs. F used, the equivalent would be a parade of red flags. People make mistakes.

        I’m glad to say I only made one error during my HUC/ward clerk clinicals. I forgot to order a routine blood draw and lab. I discovered it when -dun dun dun– double checking my work on that chart, according to hospital procedure. In the end, the order was only late by half an hour. It’s kind of embarrassing, though; that patient got that test every day he was there, and this was day five!

        (Weirdly, I had a much higher rate of accuracy with real people’s charts then the practice charts in class.)

        1. Observer

          It’s not surprising that you had higher accuracy with real charts – if you care even a bit about what you are doing the fact that there are real live humans who can be affected by this makes a difference.

      10. another Liz

        That is SOOOO sketch…. yeah, LPN was exactly right to not do that. The medical record is a legal document and cannot be altered. You can make corrections, but you cannot make the original incorrect entry disappear, that’s Charting 101. Handwritten charts get a single line strike through, with date initials and reason for the change. Electronic records, grayed out, initialrd, dated, reason for the change. A zero error rate is not going to happen, and is suspicious on its own. But deliberately covering up medication errors? That’s malpractice territory.

        1. Observer

          Yeah, the changes to medication records jumped out at me. That’s atrocious. I hope this boss goes down in flames. The rest of it is bad, but this is just putting people’s lives in danger.

      11. Observer

        OMG! That’s just outrageously wrong.

        It’s a good thing that YOU are the one who reported this, because it’s the only thing that has any chance of keeping you safe. Any medical records system worth anything has an audit trail – ie a record of who entered what, and who CHANGED what. Unless everyone was using the same credentials, it will show that you were the one who made these changes. And, you can be sure that if this ever got investigated, this would be a HUGE BIG DEAL. The changes here are not minor – swept the floor or didn’t sweep the floor probably qualifies. Whether the patient got their medication?! You may have been naive, but your boss MUST have known what she was doing. If she didn’t she’s dangerously incompetent.

        Please make sure you keep copies of every single email she sent you regarding this, any questions you raised in writing and the responses you got, the severance agreement, and her follow up emails.

  13. Penelope Le Cat

    #4- I was in the EXACT same situation as you were. However, I see now that it was a blessing in disguise. The dysfunction was really bad and funding from a grant source will be dried up in less than a year and yes jobs have been and will continue to eliminate jobs. At the time, I was angry that I was passed over, since I am more much more qualified than the person they hired, however now that person is dealing with a lot of headache that I want no part in and that person has not ended up being as great as they thought they’d be. I got a job at a different organization and the position has the potential to grow, in addition to offering me much more upward opportunities within the organization.

    Sometimes things happen for a reason, I’m glad that both of us ended up on the right side of the situation, even though it didn’t feel that way when we didn’t get those jobs, but both of ended up with even better jobs than we had hoped for, that’s the real win!

  14. Anon564

    Is nobody going to note that it sounds like OP #2 participated in the putative fraud, until being fired?! And then reported the fraud that they themselves were complicit in… I mean that’s great, but maybe consider obtaining counsel…

    1. OP #2

      I did. Thanks. I have never worked in the medical field and have no medical background so I wasn’t 100% sure I was doing wrong. Everyone including the nursing staff knew what I was doing and nobody seemed bothered by it. Naive yes I know. It wasn’t until I talked with a family member who is a Dr that I realized just how wrong I was and I started questioning what I was truly doing. When I was let go I knew I wanted to come clean even if it meant getting in trouble. I contacted an attorney for advice on reporting and was encouraged to file a claim with DOH with out implicating myself if possible as well as the Labor Board and EEOC (neither of them said I qualified to file a case). I know reporting it could ultimately lead to being in trouble and I accept that. My attorney was the one who stressed not to take the severance because I couldn’t sue in the future and if I do get in trouble she will be held responsible.

      1. Rahera

        I really respect you for this, OP. That decision calls for real integrity, unlike your ex-boss who gives me a case of the horrors. Bravo to you :).

      2. Lady Ariel Ponyweather

        Seconding the other comments. You have a lot of integrity and courage. Many people have been in situation where they truly just didn’t know what was going on, but not all of them take steps to make it right. I hope all goes well for you.

      3. Observer

        I respect your decisions immensely. Hopefully the fact that you are doing your best to rectify the situation will work in your favor.

      4. another Liz

        The fact that you don’t come from a medical background is probably exactly why you were asked to do it.

      5. AKchic

        I am going to follow along here and commend you for getting the opinions of actual medical people and an attorney and following their advice, and reporting it to the right agencies. You did everything you could. You were targeted because of your naivety. You were put in that position because of your inexperience. Your boss knew exactly what she was doing and that makes her deception all the more heinous.

        I am so sorry for the position you were put in. I am so glad you found something else.

      6. bean

        OP#2, I agree with what everyone else has said here – I’m impressed with your integrity and glad you reported this. I would consult with your attorney about this first, but you may want to think about whether it might be worth letting them know that you participated in altering records – for a couple of reasons. First, any EMR system should have an audit trail function (similar to track changes) where it will automatically record what records are changed, what about them is changed, when the changes are made, and who made the changes – so that information may be readily visible when the department goes in to audit the records anyway. Second, though, you mention that you have no medical background at all – and it sounds like that may very well be that this is the reason you were the one asked to alter the files – but if you weren’t trained properly on how the system works and how to properly maintain files and you were still tasked with doing this, it seems to me that it would likely be seen as another very serious failing on the part of your ex-boss. Again, I am NOT a lawyer and it is definitely worth consulting with your lawyer before implicating yourself, but it’s possible admitting your involvement and the context of it, and your lack of training, might provide you with some cover.

        Also, as others have said, save every note, paper, text, voicemail, and email from your ex-boss. And it might very well be worth alerting the agency that there was a nurse in the office who was asked to do this as well, and who was terminated after refusing to participate, and that was when you started asking questions (if I have that timeline correct?).

        Good luck. You absolutely did the right thing in reporting. You’re protecting a lot of vulnerable patients.

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