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(Slate)   Mother of distressed AOL baby has something to say to the CEO   (slate.com) divider line 274
    More: Cool, CEO, pre-eclampsia, federal benefits, premature birth  
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17006 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Feb 2014 at 3:32 PM (36 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-09 07:08:14 PM  
By the way - this guy REVERSED his decision (you know - that fiscally sound, supersmart executive type guy decision) yesterday evening.
So apparently, it was all mean-spirited bullshiat, just to make himself look like a tough guy.
I got news for this guy - I could carve a better, tougher man than him out of a banana.
 
2014-02-09 07:09:21 PM  
I sympathize with the mother...but:

 "...but the damage to my family had already been done."

There was no damage to your family because of this dickwad's statements, except those in your own mind, and those are nobody's problems but yours.  Almost nobody would know your daughter was the one being talked about, and nobody that does know you blames you for the cut to the 401K...and if somebody should actually blame you for it then they are for too stupid to even care the slightest about their opinion.

The CEO is a dick - but let's not get overly dramatic about this.
 
2014-02-09 07:09:38 PM  

Thai_Mai_Xhu: So who gives a rotund rodents rosy red rectum about  her fragile freakin crotch-squeezins?

I vote she dies!


For a contemptuous laugh, heck this guy's profile! :D
 
2014-02-09 07:10:37 PM  

DontMakeMeComeBackThere: I sympathize with the mother...but:

 "...but the damage to my family had already been done."

There was no damage to your family because of this dickwad's statements, except those in your own mind, and those are nobody's problems but yours.  Almost nobody would know your daughter was the one being talked about, and nobody that does know you blames you for the cut to the 401K...and if somebody should actually blame you for it then they are for too stupid to even care the slightest about their opinion.

The CEO is a dick - but let's not get overly dramatic about this.


He can tell that to the judge, in the unlikely event that cooler heads don't just pay out a fat settlement.
 
2014-02-09 07:22:04 PM  

The Southern Dandy: cman: snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

I wouldnt call them gangsters

He made a decision void of emotion. It was pure logic. Why did he do it that way? Most likely it is because there is too much of a disconnect between the CEO and his employees. AOL is a big company so it is very hard to get on a first name basis with your employees.

If what happened to the baby happened to someone who was on the board, someone who the CEO interacted with, then he would have that emotional aspect to his decision, and that could have changed his mind.

Psychopath, Gangster, same-same.


The Italian-based gangstas had an honor system, generally. This puts them above many Senators, Presidents and CEOs.

Now the Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Mexican gangs/cartels are ruthless with no honor/rules.
 
2014-02-09 07:31:49 PM  
What the hell.

What the hell is next from this type of abhuman creature?

"How dare you peons try to breed!"

"How dare you deliberately have malfunctioning offspring!!"

Is that what's coming?

Is there a connection to "Why didn't you just put an aspirin between your knees, you filthy sluts!"??

I keep seeing these patterns.
 
2014-02-09 07:38:08 PM  

Cyclometh: OK, so here's some research I've done and why I think Tom Armstrong is or should be in a lot of trouble for violation of the Health Insuarnce Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

HIPAA is a complex regulation, but is not hard to understand if you spend a couple of minutes learning some basics.

The first thing to understand is that HIPAA is broken into two parts- the "Security Rule" and the "Privacy Rule". We're only interested in the Privacy Rule here. The Security Rule covers things like how electronic data is stored, what safeguards there are against its being disclosed, and regulations for who can access electronic health care data (in point of fact, for Tom Armstrong to be aware of such specifics, there had to be one or more violations of the Security Rule, but let's just stick to the Privacy Rule for now).

For most of this, I'll be referring to this document:

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/administrative/combined/hipaa-s im plification-201303.pdf

That is is an "Administrative Simplification" of the HIPAA requirements, boiling it all down into one document instead of requiring you to trawl through the CFR, the HIPAA text itself (laws are different than the regulations they create) and other such mind-numbing tasks.

Anayway, the big question we have to answer: Is AOL and its staff subject to HIPAA?

HIPAA is only applicable to "covered entities", which are enumerated in the regulations (see § 160.102 and § 160.103)

AOL self-insures, making it a "health care provider" under the regulation. It might be a "hybrid entity" because it also does non-healthcare stuff. But either way the Privacy Rule applies.
Here's a summary of the "Privacy Rule":

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/index.htm l

Here's a set of flowcharts for easy determination of whether a business is a "covered entity".

http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/HIPAA-Administrative-Sim pl ification/HIPAAGenInfo/Downloads/CoveredEntitycharts.pdf

In ...


I missed the part where he called anyone out by name.
Employers are given information, statistics if you will, about how their healthcare benefits are being used.  It helps them provide relevant benefits and to know if their benefits package is competitive.
Two newborns in a year costing a million bucks each?  Yeah, pretty sure they're going to be told about that.  /Not saying I agree with his decision or his method but we seem to be rat-holing the discussion with this  angle.
 
2014-02-09 07:43:08 PM  

jso2897: By the way - this guy REVERSED his decision (you know - that fiscally sound, supersmart executive type guy decision) yesterday evening.
So apparently, it was all mean-spirited bullshiat, just to make himself look like a tough guy.
I got news for this guy - I could carve a better, tougher man than him out of a banana.


Pretty much. He's looking to justify a position, that isn't justified by facts, and folks are lining up to congratulate him, because it sounds cool, because it says, "Hey, we're just being tough."
 
2014-02-09 07:49:57 PM  

jso2897: By the way - this guy REVERSED his decision (you know - that fiscally sound, supersmart executive type guy decision) yesterday evening.
So apparently, it was all mean-spirited bullshiat, just to make himself look like a tough guy.
I got news for this guy - I could carve a better, tougher man than him out of a banana.


Publicity made the difference. I am glad that that was the ultimate outcome.
 
2014-02-09 08:11:23 PM  
$1million? he got off cheap
ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2014-02-09 08:32:00 PM  
We had some a-hole manager running around our company saying a sales associates heart attack brought up everyone's health care premiums in the company. I wish that f-ing manager would have a heart attack.
 
2014-02-09 08:50:04 PM  

Farty McPooPants: I missed the part where he called anyone out by name.


Didn't need to - told enough that coworkers identified them. Fat settlement, or lawsuit - book it, done.
 
2014-02-09 08:50:44 PM  
This is what happens when you work for a company with a failing business model.
 
2014-02-09 09:15:55 PM  
Why does this always happen to me? I must have bad taste in people.
 
2014-02-09 09:51:24 PM  

midigod: Bungles: But... a single complex spread cancer would surely cost more than a million? A single AIDS + ancillary issues patient? A heart-lung transplant? I'd have thought the predicted annual over/under spend variable, ever for a medium sized company, must be in the $100 millions? How on earth could *two* slightly complex medical situations destabilise an entire system? How is that even legally allowed to happen?

That's precisely what Reinsurance is for.  A company that has over 500 employees is generally financially able (legally) to cover their own insurance.  But as a duty to their fiduciaries, they also have Reinsurance, which covers exactly the sort of catastrophe that AOL experienced.  I know this because I've been in healthcare for the last 20 years, and my company literally "forgot" to buy reinsurance a few years ago, costing the company's plan $4 million one year, which they wouldn't have ordinarily had to pay.  And my company had less than a thousand employees at the time.  If AOL didn't have reinsurance, whomever made that decision should be fired.  It's a common and expected practice.



How many posts before somebody finnnnnnally hit the nail on the head. The distressed baby comment is a red herring to deflect attention from the fact that management failed to structure the employee insurance policies correctly with reinsurance. It's common practice by insurance companies to insure themselves against a risk profile gone awry. Management failed to buy reinsurance, risk exceeded model, management cut 401(k) benefit, pointing finger at the distressed babies as the cause.
 
2014-02-09 10:00:20 PM  

Mitch Taylor's Bro: gar1013: Fun fact: many companies actually pay the cost of your insurance claims out of their own pocket.

That insurance company you speak of? It processes claims but your employer may be the one footing the bill.

It's called self-insurance.

/the more you know
//works for a company that self insures

What's the benefit of doing that?


Lower overhead. You don't have to pay the insurance company's profits on top of the premiums.

Most companies do it for dental care and glasses. Since almost everyone use those benefits, the premium paid to an insurance company is actually higher than the cost of the actual services rendered. For the rest of medical charges, it's harder to predict.
 
2014-02-09 10:25:17 PM  

DeaH: Lee451: Where is  pro-abortion "if it cannot live on it's own then it's only a blob of tissue and not human" crowd I see so often in here?

There is no pro-abortion crowd. It's pro-choice. If the parents make a decision, that is their choice, which is something pro-choice people support. By the way, there are a significant number of us on the pro-choice side who do not care for abortion at all. We just do not feel we can make that decision for another person. We also believe that there ought to be a number of programs (good sex education, access to cheap birth control, good adoption laws, prenatal and natal medical coverage, nutrition programs, day care, parental leave, and a number of others) that make it easier for a woman to decide not to abort.


It is fashionable to call people anti-choice and pro-abortion. Mocking your enemy is a time honored tradition in conflict.
 
2014-02-09 10:28:56 PM  

AngryDragon: Good for you, mom.  Fark him right in the ass.


They spent all this money; she's an ingrate.

I'm sure her husbands thrilled, as I'm sure his chances of getting promoted just took a massive , peanut flecked shiat. If not worse.

Maybe then she'll complain that she doesn't have the cash to pay for her ever growing brood because AOL didn't promote hubby enough...
 
2014-02-09 10:49:10 PM  

Elvis Presleys Death Throne: AngryDragon: Good for you, mom.  Fark him right in the ass.

They spent all this money; she's an ingrate.

I'm sure her husbands thrilled, as I'm sure his chances of getting promoted just took a massive , peanut flecked shiat. If not worse.

Maybe then she'll complain that she doesn't have the cash to pay for her ever growing brood because AOL didn't promote hubby enough...


Hubby is executive business and global news editor at Huffington Post. He's pretty high on the masthead. He's not just an office drone. It makes this whole thing very interesting, and not nearly as easy as if he was just some analyst in sales.
 
2014-02-09 11:54:18 PM  
I wonder if both the father of the distressed baby and the CEO will still be working at AOL by the end of the week. I could believe one or the other, but I'm not seeing great odds that both will still be employed there.
 
2014-02-09 11:56:36 PM  
OH FRAK.

*runs out of thread unhappily*
 
2014-02-10 12:04:05 AM  

firefly212: PreMortem: I actually read TFA and I don't get what she "said" to the CEO. It was more of an account of what she and her family went through.

That being said, FEDUCIARY DUTY. If you don't like it, behead a few CEOs. Otherwise STFU.

Slashing employee retirements while giving yourself a 300% raise has nothing to do with fiduciary duty.


Slashing? Going from per-payday 401k matching to annual lump sum is not slashing retirements, unless you only work there for a year and your entire retirement is $1K. AOL would save money by not paying out if you quit/retired/got fired before the 31st of December.

And he didn't give himself a raise. Corporations have these things called "boards" and "shareholders" that dictatate what CEOs get payed.

This douche saw a $7M increase in healthcare costs and decided to take it from 401k payouts instead of the $629M they made last quarter. That is all.
 
2014-02-10 12:05:34 AM  

Elvis Presleys Death Throne: AngryDragon: Good for you, mom.  Fark him right in the ass.

They spent all this money; she's an ingrate.

I'm sure her husbands thrilled, as I'm sure his chances of getting promoted just took a massive , peanut flecked shiat. If not worse.

Maybe then she'll complain that she doesn't have the cash to pay for her ever growing brood because AOL didn't promote hubby enough...


Her audacity truly knows no bounds; all that I'm left with are questions.

Number one, how dare she?  Number two, HOW DARE SHE??
 
2014-02-10 12:20:22 AM  

MycroftHolmes: I was not privy to the call so I cannot speak to his tone or intent.


This is exactly why he really needs to start watching what he's saying.

So far, he's farked up twice, big time, with the words he used during conference calls.
 
2014-02-10 12:22:06 AM  

Kittypie070: What the hell.

What the hell is next from this type of abhuman creature?

"How dare you peons try to breed!"

"How dare you deliberately have malfunctioning offspring!!"

Is that what's coming?

Is there a connection to "Why didn't you just put an aspirin between your knees, you filthy sluts!"??

I keep seeing these patterns.


I can't tell if you're quoting Tim Armstrong or Fark posters here.
 
2014-02-10 12:27:52 AM  

PreMortem: And he didn't give himself a raise. Corporations have these things called "boards" and "shareholders" that dictatate what CEOs get payed.


And those "boards" are usually staffed by other "CEO's" who get their own "compensation packages" from their own "boards" which are made up of other "CEO's" who have their own "boards" yada yada yada CEO's always seem to get all of the compensation.
 
2014-02-10 12:36:43 AM  

Conservative Humor: I wonder if both the father of the distressed baby and the CEO will still be working at AOL by the end of the week. I could believe one or the other, but I'm not seeing great odds that both will still be employed there.


I wonder how much longer anybody is going to be working at AOL. They are just about out of patents and other desirable assets to peddle for operating cash (the place their paper "profits" are coming from), and their once huge pile of cash is almost gone. There isn't much left for this incompetent boy-man to loot, and I doubt he has any idea how to actually make any money.
 
2014-02-10 12:39:34 AM  

Farty McPooPants: I missed the part where he called anyone out by name.


You don't have to call anyone out by name. All you have to do is release information that could be reasonably used to identify someone. Since he mentioned two "distressed babies" of parents who worked at AOL (or whose spouses did), it would be trivially easy to figure it out, even if you didn't know them that well.
 
2014-02-10 12:46:10 AM  
"IF YOU DESIRE TO DRAIN TO THE DREGS THE FULLEST CUP OF SCORN AND HATRED THAT A FELLOW HUMAN BEING CAN POUR OUT FOR YOU, LET A YOUNG MOTHER HEAR YOU CALL DEAR BABY 'IT.'"

~ T. S. Eliot

Tim Armstrong has the social skills of a doorknob, apparently.
 
2014-02-10 01:12:08 AM  

jso2897: I wonder how much longer anybody is going to be working at AOL. They are just about out of patents and other desirable assets to peddle for operating cash (the place their paper "profits" are coming from), and their once huge pile of cash is almost gone. There isn't much left for this incompetent boy-man to loot, and I doubt he has any idea how to actually make any money.


While you have a valid point about where their piles of cash that kept them afloat after the Time Warner split came from, you have to admit that HuffPo by itself is quite viable long-term. Google Maps hasn't put Mapquest out of business yet, and AOL is still a large Internet provider in the developing world. 2013 was supposedly their most profitable year in a decade, and (other than spinning off Patch) I don't believe they sold off any major property the entire year. They also purchased adap.tv last August for more than $400 million.

Tim Armstrong might be a very bad person who treats his employees like a commodity rather than human beings, but you can't say he's not doing his fiduciary duty for the stockholders.

tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com


Of course, what remains to be seen is whether or not he can retain talent after this latest flap. I'd guess in this economy the answer is unfortunately yes.
 
2014-02-10 03:18:44 AM  

snocone: Remember when it was the gangsters that said "This is not personal, it is just business." BANG BANG

Meet the New Gangsters.

 
2014-02-10 03:19:21 AM  

Prey4reign: Add Armstrong to the whiny 1%.

Good to hear that this "distressed baby" made it and will likely grow up, gradually losing any signs she was born premature.  At least, if my track record is anything to go on, she can.  .  I was born just a little under three pounds, blue as a smurf, with all sorts of complications that kept me in the neonatal ICU for a month and a half before my mother was allowed to touch me.  Thirty years on, I'm a healthy six-foot-tall weighing 175 pounds.  I maintain a physically active lifestyle and am on my way in the professional career of my choice.


All right I'm skipping most of the thread to reply to this.

That said, grats, and I'd give you cake if I could. Seriously.

My sister was born almost FOUR MONTHS early, in the mid 1970s. My dad was very fortunate to have a good job at NCR in Cleveland back then, and she was exclusively cared for in The Cleveland Clinic - I strongly suspect she'd have died in most other areas of the country. I don't know a whole lot about it, and since mom passed in '95 I can't ask her and dad doesn't really talk about it, but I remember some stories from when I was little, about how they went every day to the hospital to see her, and how she was in an incubator for most of that time.

She had some issues growing up, mostly vision (she had glasses at 18 months, bifocals as a young adult), but she's now a pretty successful high school language teacher, has two healthy kids, and she has the biggest feet in the family and was tallest until I peaked a few years later :D

I literally cried reading this article though. My parents were lucky enough that back when she was born, insurance worked the way it was supposed to. I'm sure they were already worried enough about her without this kind of situation sprouting up in the wake of a drawn-out major medical emergency.

That CEO needs to be removed by the board for gross insensitivity (or whatever the legal equivalent is). I don't care that he figured out enough corners to cut to 'show profit'. He's one of the worst examples of a person with power - here he had the chance to show generosity to help an employee's family in need, and instead he shiat all over them while cutting another corner.
 
2014-02-10 04:26:50 AM  

ladyfortuna: That CEO needs to be removed by the board for gross insensitivity (or whatever the legal equivalent is). I don't care that he figured out enough corners to cut to 'show profit'. He's one of the worst examples of a person with power - here he had the chance to show generosity to help an employee's family in need, and instead he shiat all over them while cutting another corner.


You know, I'd like to agree that he should be removed from the gene pool, but it's actually the law that he has to act like the biggest dick on the planet. Every single decision he makes has to benefit the stockholders. If he fails to do so, he can even be held civilly liable - the stockholders can sue him for the money that belonged to them that he handed over to the employees.

A recent case in the news is a group of investors who are demanding that Juniper networks cut its employee pay and benefits. While it sounds like the most assholish thing on the planet, keep in mind that the investment group is planning their own retirements based on appreciation of the stock price. If you owned a restaurant, and you found out your manager was giving people free meals, cutting into your bottom line, you'd be upset, right? If he was paying someone $22/hr to wash dishes, and you knew you could easily find someone to wash dishes for $10/hr, you might consider finding a new manager.

It might be best for American workers to start making sure that they are recognized for the work they do, and that they should never be looked at as a commodity. Consider this: John Fox, head coach of the Denver Broncos, got paid $3.5 million last year. (he had the option for another $1 million if they won the Super Bowl.) His boss, John Elway, the GM of the Denver Broncos, got only $3 million. Peyton Manning, on the other hand, received $15 million. Champ Bailey received $9.5 million.

Yes, Peyton Manning and Champ Bailey do highly specialized work that only a handful of people in the world can do effectively. But would it surprise you to learn that the top servers in most casual dining restaurants normally make more than the associate managers? They have to, in order to keep the servers. The associate managers take the job at a low salary in order to get benefits and because they know that a mere adequate job will eventually see them promoted.

The workers spoke at AOL, and the 401K plan was changed back. But I have no doubts that other companies will begin doing this, and it will become the new norm over the next few years, at least for new employees. According to Deloitte and Touche, only 9% of American companies currently have this practice. Consider, however, the amount of retention leverage this gives a company - quit in July and you've just left 2% or so of your yearly salary. November it's more like 4%. The numbers are showing that Obamacare is affecting employee retention, as more people can afford to quit and get healthcare outside of jobs they don't like. This gives the companies way too much leverage over the employees, but, like the $22/hr dishwasher, if you owned the company, and had to pay out money to train new employees every time someone left, you'd be looking for every advantage in keeping them that you could.
 
2014-02-10 04:32:27 AM  

ladyfortuna: He's one of the worst examples of a person with power - here he had the chance to show generosity to help an employee's family in need, and instead he shiat all over them while cutting another corner.


"Generosity" is not the word for it. The family paid their share of the premiums, and benefits were paid out according to the terms of the policy. You don't have to say "thank you master" when a large corporation honors the terms of a legally binding contract.
 
2014-02-10 04:53:46 AM  
It is outrageous that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong can get away with saying that, we should gladly pay a trillion dollars even if it keeps a severely deformed fetus alive only one second longer.
 
2014-02-10 07:56:36 AM  

PsiChick: Bloody William: austin_millbarge: Mitch Taylor's Bro: foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.

You think so? I think he might be untouchable because she went public and firing him would create an even bigger shiatstorm.

Not to mention the only way he might avoid a privacy lawsuit is because the husband stays employed.

Wait wait wait. I just realized something.

Okay, him blabbing about two "distressed babies" was certainly bad, but... how did HE farking know? How is the CEO privy to the medical treatments and outlays, protected under HIPAA, that any given employee gets?

Hopefully there's a lawsuit on the way from Mommy discussing exactly this.


Medical information absent identifying information is not protected PHI.  Insurers know, in aggregated form, what money was spent and what treatments for the covered group.  How else do you think the set rates?  There is no violation of HIPAA here.
 
2014-02-10 07:59:18 AM  

furiousidiot: It is outrageous that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong can get away with saying that, we should gladly pay a trillion dollars even if it keeps a severely deformed fetus alive only one second longer.


That there is the dirty secret.  When it comes to lives, especially children, we would like to believe that no expense is spared.  The reality is that we, as a society, make economic decisions regarding life and death all the time.  No one wants to admit it (especially in the US, which is one of the reasons why medical costs are disproportionately high in the US).
 
2014-02-10 08:02:10 AM  

Cyclometh: Farty McPooPants: I missed the part where he called anyone out by name.

You don't have to call anyone out by name. All you have to do is release information that could be reasonably used to identify someone. Since he mentioned two "distressed babies" of parents who worked at AOL (or whose spouses did), it would be trivially easy to figure it out, even if you didn't know them that well.


This doesn't make sense.  You are saying, the way to identify the parents of distressed babies is to know that they were parents of distressed babies?  His revelation, then, gave up no additional information.

And yes, for HIPAA to be violated PII has to be coupled to the health information to be considered PHI.
 
2014-02-10 09:33:23 AM  

jso2897: He revealed enough about his employees HIIPA information that they were easily identified by coworkers - his evident intent.
That may not violate the criminal provisions of HIIPA, but that hardly matters, except as a deflecting tactic.
The damage to the company's public image has already been done, and more will follow with the inevitable media shiatstorm and almost obligatory lawsuits (or, far more likely, fat settlements).


I think the fact that he knew the details is a violation of HIPAA in and of itself; that information shouldn't be accesible by anyone except the insurer (even if the company is self-insured, there is a insurance provider that handles the health information for this very reason)
 
2014-02-10 10:16:11 AM  

MycroftHolmes: Medical information absent identifying information is not protected PHI.  Insurers know, in aggregated form, what money was spent and what treatments for the covered group.  How else do you think the set rates?  There is no violation of HIPAA here.


Actually, there very well could be.  The fact that the company had only two of these instances means that in identifying them, the private information was linked to those who had the medical procedures.  The personally-identifiable information is revealed by virtue of the rarity.  For example, if an insurer is asked by an employer whether there were any AIDS cases, and the insurer says "Yes, there was one," then the insurer has violated HIPAA if the company can glean the identity of the person from that admission.  This is made easy if the employer has four employees, and I've had the experience of being on the receiving end of those queries.  It's obvious what's happening, and it's pretty uncomfortable telling one of your clients you know what they're doing.  AOL has a lot of employees, but if there are only two high-dollar cases, a portion of the staff immediately knows who's being talked about.
 
2014-02-10 10:21:56 AM  

MycroftHolmes: And yes, for HIPAA to be violated PII has to be coupled to the health information to be considered PHI.


It doesn't have to be explicitly coupled, it can be revealed through deductive disclosure.  For some reason I can't embed links today, so   http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~shmat/shmat_cacm10.pdf   The second page gives a very good and detailed definition.
 
2014-02-10 10:43:04 AM  
This is the sort of thing a crappy CEO does, tie specific risk-related losses to more predictable expenditures. What's the point in having insurance and being a large company if you can't absorb these types of losses without acting as if the ship were sinking? It comes across as petulant and reactive.
 
2014-02-10 10:56:07 AM  

MycroftHolmes: Cyclometh: Farty McPooPants: I missed the part where he called anyone out by name.

You don't have to call anyone out by name. All you have to do is release information that could be reasonably used to identify someone. Since he mentioned two "distressed babies" of parents who worked at AOL (or whose spouses did), it would be trivially easy to figure it out, even if you didn't know them that well.

This doesn't make sense.  You are saying, the way to identify the parents of distressed babies is to know that they were parents of distressed babies?  His revelation, then, gave up no additional information.

And yes, for HIPAA to be violated PII has to be coupled to the health information to be considered PHI.


At least for the parent who identified herself, I think it may be hard to assess damages even if a violation occurred, since she came out to discuss it.

The real issues here in my mind are 1. Linking overall employee benefits to specific issues in a calendar year, as if these are completely unpredictable, massive expenditures, which is not exactly the case. And 2. just being an asshole in a way that will turn off your employees. If you want to limit 401k expenditures, don't tie it to individual medical expenses as if nothing else mattered.
 
2014-02-10 11:14:25 AM  

MycroftHolmes: His revelation, then, gave up no additional information.


Sure it did. It told people the amount of money they had received and discussed their specific conditions, which were rare enough that identification of them was trivial for anyone who knew them. Discussing specifics of amounts paid on medical claims is a violation of HIPAA.

In short, his statement was enough to identify people, what medical care they had received, and how much money was spent on them. And it was used in the context of making a move that negatively affected many people. This is precisely the kind of thing HIPAA was created to prevent.
 
2014-02-10 11:17:47 AM  

Animatronik: since she came out to discuss it.


There's no damages to assess. HIPAA doesn't even mention the victims of PHI breaches much. If you're a covered entity, you must comply with HIPAA's requirements or face civil or criminal penalties. There's no claims process, no lawsuit, and no damages to be assessed in this case.

If the victim brings a civil suit, HIPAA won't enter into it except tangentially.
 
2014-02-10 11:34:07 AM  
You know what? People making millions of dollars have problems in life, same as people who make $10 an hour.

People who happen to earn millions a year are still that.. people.

I wish you all could become wealthy and learn this lesson.

Life's real problems are not solved with money. The problems of the very wealthy are just as real as the problems you face, and I assure you, the very wealthy family is no happier on average than a $100k/yr household.

And the very wealthy doesn't even get to cling to the hope that someday our lotto numbers will come up and save us from our own little Hell.
 
2014-02-10 11:48:32 AM  

foo monkey: Good job, mom. Your husband is getting fired tomorrow.


Down at the bottom, the Slate article says that the author of the article, Deanna Fei, is the author of the novel A Thread of Sky.  A Google search for Deanna Fei  produces a link to a webpage about Peter S. Goodman, which states that "Goodman lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn with his wife, the novelist Deanna Fei."

Curious thing.   The Goodman bio says that he's a journalist who's worked for The New York Times and the Washington Post and is now is the executive business editor of the Huffington Post.  There isn't anything at all about him working for AOL.
 
2014-02-10 11:58:27 AM  

Incredulous: Curious thing.   The Goodman bio says that he's a journalist who's worked for The New York Times and the Washington Post and is now is the executive business editor of the Huffington Post.  There isn't anything at all about him working for AOL.


Do you know who owns HuffPo?
 
2014-02-10 12:25:34 PM  

ransack.: And the very wealthy doesn't even get to cling to the hope that someday our lotto numbers will come up and save us from our own little Hell.


So the very wealthy have no hope for a better life, and as a result are worse off than the rest of us?

What a tragic existence they must lead.

I just saw Lone Survivor over the weekend.  Had I known then what I know know, I would have sat through that movie thinking "Well, at least they're not rich."
 
2014-02-10 01:37:30 PM  

midigod: ransack.: And the very wealthy doesn't even get to cling to the hope that someday our lotto numbers will come up and save us from our own little Hell.

So the very wealthy have no hope for a better life, and as a result are worse off than the rest of us?

What a tragic existence they must lead.

I just saw Lone Survivor over the weekend.  Had I known then what I know know, I would have sat through that movie thinking "Well, at least they're not rich."


Not worse off or better off. Exactly the same.. off. In different ways. But, the same.. off.
 
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