ULP charge filed against VNA and Blue Water Hospice
Ann Sincox, MNA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Missing chart draws Unfair Labor Practice charge against Visiting Nurses Association and Blue Water Hospice
PORT HURON – A simple request for a medical chart is being ignored by the Visiting Nurses Association and Blue Water Hospice at the cost of trampling on the rights of one nurse. Rather than sharing some basic information, the VNA and Blue Water Hospice have refused to cooperate with the nurses union. In turn, the Michigan Nurses Association, representing the nurses of the VNA and Blue Water Hospice has filed an Unfair Labor Practice with the National Labor Relations Board, citing that the Employer has violated Sections 8(a)(1) and (5) by failing and refusing to provide MNA the information requested to research a grievance.
“This is a simple information request,” said Anita Szczepanski, MNA Labor Representative. “Our member was terminated due to a complaint from the patient’s daughter about the care that was given, so the patient’s chart is quite relevant to our case. The Employer has stated that the patient is not willing to have the chart released; however, there are several ways the information can be shared without the patient’s consent and still be in compliance with HIPAA requirements. We have offered to have the patient’s name and other identifying information removed from the chart, and we also offered to sign a reasonable confidentiality agreement with the Employer. Consequently, there is no HIPAA violation and absolutely no reason for the Employer’s response other than sheer stubbornness. It is frustrating that VNA and Blue Water Hospice are dragging their feet and deliberately stopping MNA from representing our member who was terminated. ”
“As a nurse working outside a hospital setting, our charts are what records the care we provide and protects our practice,” said Paula Falis, RN, chair of the union. “Our union has the legal right and is willing to collaborate on privacy so that they can access these charts to represent us.
The National Labor Relations Board is currently reviewing the charge.
The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest, most effective union for RNs in Michigan. As the voice of all registered nurses in Michigan, MNA advocates for nurses and their patients at the State Capitol, in the community and at the bargaining table. MNA is a constituent member of National Nurses United and an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.