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  1. #61

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    I think you misunderstand HIPAA. As a medical professional who is extremely versed in the matter, I would not say that it was within the CM's duties to share medical information. They had a right to see the objects in the bag, as that is involved in performing the search, but they had NO right whatsoever to say anything out loud about it unless there was a SECURITY issue. Sharing medical information is not at all part of performing a search. If they had a question about the contents of the inhaler or what it was for, they should discreetly ask the owner.
    Exactly. The idea of HIPPA is to protect the patient against exactly the sort of intrusiveness described by the OP. HIPPA doesn't say to a patient, "if you don't want it discussed in a search, you should hide it on your person," it says "keep your mouth shut" to ill-trained, unprofessional and insensitive clods like the CM described in this case.
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 07-13-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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  2. #62

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    Sorry, but as someone who has carried needles and medications since high school, and has gone through security checkpoints all over the country and the world, I can tell you that the law doesn't work that way. HIPPAA is a federal law, and your rights are always protected unless you specifically authorize a disclosure in writing. Going through a checkpoint doesn't mean that you have waived your HIPPAA rights or authorized Disney's employees to publicly discuss your medication with whoever might be standing around.

    If they need to ask about something in your bag, if it is medication or something else that falls under HIPPAA, it is THEIR responsibility to pull you to the side and ask privately. It is NOT your responsibility to ask them to do that in advance or to disclose ANYTHING about your medication unless you are asked. They have a right to search and a right to ask; they don't have a right to violate HIPPAA.
    Don't get my position wrong, I am against all types of intrusive searches and violations of privacy. I personally think the searches at Disneyland are a joke. While the CM is probing through my bag with a stick asking questions about what is inside my camera bag; they have no clue what is tucked away behind my belt under my jacket. Not that I carry a gun inside Disneyland... but how would they know?

    My point is that there are gray areas caused by overlaps in our society over privacy and safety. People do have rights to privacy, but then at the same time, there are other forces which compel us to either voluntarily submit to a search (amusement parks, sporting events, concerts), or by statute (courts, airports, state capital). My position is that you should not volunteer your personal information if you have another option. I suppose you could try to sue Disneyland for some perceived HIPPAA violation---- good luck with that. Did you articulate a complaint at quest services so that Disney management could respond with more training on the subject? Did you take down the names of those CMs involved? Just curious since you felt so violated by the incident?

    Keep in mind that even if the item in your bag falls under HIPPAA, it may also fall under state and/or federal laws concerning controlled substances. Not that Disney employees are under any authority to enforce any of those laws, but they may inquire about items which appear to be drugs, alcohol, or a weapon... and why? Because you voluntarily submitted to search that is looking for those types of items. YOU VOLUNTEERED to a search.

  3. #63

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    I agree to an extent about submitting to a search voluntarily, however in my situation the CM pulled out the bottle not to invevstigate, but to show it off to his coworker. That is not appropriate, nor does it fall under his duty to perform a search of my belongings.

    Would it be appropriate for a CM to pull out and show off a tampon to a coworker? No. It is also not appropriate to show off a medication bottle, even if it is unlabeled and covered in rhinestones. Had he asked me permission, I would have happily obliged, but the fact that he just did it without asking was unprofessional.
    Look at it this way, and I wasn't there, but maybe because the bottle had pills in it AND it was decorated the way it was; maybe the CM thought it was "recreational drugs" and possibly being brought into the park for reasons which would be a violation.

    I'm not defending the guy's actions, I'm just saying you already agreed to a search/inspection of your personal items. I say don't ever do that.

  4. #64

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Exactly. The idea of HIPPA is to protect the patient against exactly the sort of intrusiveness described by the OP. HIPPA doesn't say to a patient, "if you don't want it discussed in a search, you should hide it on your person," it says "keep your mouth shut" to ill-trained, unprofessional and insensitive clods like the CM described in this case.
    Does anybody really expect that concert security guards and part time amusement park employees are somehow going to always be highly skilled, legally versed, or sensitive to these matters? Not saying they can't be trained to be all of that. Just saying that in my life experience I don't have a high expectation for that, and why I avoid the issue by not allowing them to inspect anything that I don't want them to know about.

  5. #65

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by USS Seawolf View Post
    Look at it this way, and I wasn't there, but maybe because the bottle had pills in it AND it was decorated the way it was; maybe the CM thought it was "recreational drugs" and possibly being brought into the park for reasons which would be a violation.

    I'm not defending the guy's actions, I'm just saying you already agreed to a search/inspection of your personal items. I say don't ever do that.
    If that were the case, he should have questioned me. Instead, he took the pill bottle out, held it up to his coworker, and said "Check this out!".

    There is no excuse whatsoever for what he did to me, nor what happened with the inhalers.

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  6. #66

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by USS Seawolf View Post
    Keep in mind that even if the item in your bag falls under HIPPAA, it may also fall under state and/or federal laws concerning controlled substances. Not that Disney employees are under any authority to enforce any of those laws, but they may inquire about items which appear to be drugs, alcohol, or a weapon... and why? Because you voluntarily submitted to search that is looking for those types of items. YOU VOLUNTEERED to a search.
    Do you have any actual knowledge of the laws you're referring to?

    I do. Both HIPAA and control substance laws are very much a part of my career.

    These searches do not allow the employee to SHARE medical information - showing the inhaler or asking loudly about it, for any reason other than SECURITY PURPOSES is a violation of HIPAA, and likely a violation of their work poilcy as well.

    As for controlled substances - 1) The CM would have to determine that the medications were for recreational use, and not prescribed. They do not have the training to do this. 2) Inhalers are not "controlled substances" as in CI-CIV, some are prescribed, in which case the CM still has no right to ask what the inhaler is prescribed for or even why the customer has it, because that is MEDICAL information and in no way a concern for security.

    You are very much confusing what a voluntary bag check is, and voluntarily submitting to the rules of entering Disney property, with your perception that somehow this search allows CMs to violate HIPAA and other such laws. They do not, in any way shape or form, indicate that people are voluntarily allowing the sharing of their medical information by submitting to a bag check.
    Last edited by KellyMcG86; 07-13-2013 at 10:39 PM. Reason: typo

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  7. #67

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    If that were the case, he should have questioned me. Instead, he took the pill bottle out, held it up to his coworker, and said "Check this out!".

    There is no excuse whatsoever for what he did to me, nor what happened with the inhalers.
    Did he mean "check this out" as in are we allowed to permit these in the parks? I'm not trying to quibble about this, but was he inspecting the bottle because it had pills inside, is that why he took it out? Since he is charged with searching for illegal substances (see the list below), maybe he was just inquiring about your medicine bottle?

    Items not allowed inside the park include:


    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Any illegal substances
    • Folding chairs, with the exception of cane-chair and seat-walker mobility aids
    • Glass containers, with the exception of baby food containers, medicine or small perfume bottles (under 4 oz)
    • Water pistols, toy guns and replica weapons, with the exception of those sold in the Disneyland Resort
    • Sporting goods or equipment (e.g., baseball bats, helmets, hockey sticks, golf clubs, bows and arrows, camping equipment, chairs, stools, tables and Frisbees)
    • Weapons of any kind (including guns, knives, billy clubs, brass knuckles, nunchucks, stars and other martial arts equipment)
    • Self-defense equipment (pepper spray, mace, stun guns)
    • Restraining devices (e.g., handcuffs, zip ties) or any suspicious items (e.g., box cutters, razor blades, duct tape, wire)
    • Items that may be disruptive (e.g. laser pointers, slingshots, stink bombs, air horns)
    • Cremated remains (e.g., urns, vases, boxes)
    • Miscellaneous other items (tools, fire extinguishers, musical instruments, megaphones, pots and pans)
    • Professional photographers with professional cameras or recording equipment, who are visiting the Disneyland Resort with the intent to take photographs or recordings of people, Disneyland Resort properties, or icons for professional purposes must make prior arrangements with Disneyland Resort Media Relations.
    • Folding tripod stands or monopod stands that can fit inside a standard backpack are permitted.

  8. #68

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by USS Seawolf View Post
    Did he mean "check this out" as in are we allowed to permit these in the parks? I'm not trying to quibble about this, but was he inspecting the bottle because it had pills inside, is that why he took it out? Since he is charged with searching for illegal substances (see the list below), maybe he was just inquiring about your medicine bottle?
    I get the point you're trying to make. And like you said, you weren't there. He showed it to his coworker, was smiling, and didn't ask me a single question about it, nor did he ask to see the contents of it. So no, I do not think he was asking if it was allowed. I think he was showing it to his coworker because it's a pretty ridiculous looking bottle. Which, like I said, if he had just asked if I minded I wouldn't have been bothered at all. Afterall, a rhinestone bottle should be celebrated in all it's shiny glory. But for someone to take it and show it off without asking, and without having any apparent security reason to (which still wouldn't excuse the manner in which he handled it) is not following any protocol that any other bag check would be performed.

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  9. #69

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by USS Seawolf View Post

    Keep in mind that even if the item in your bag falls under HIPPAA, it may also fall under state and/or federal laws concerning controlled substances. Not that Disney employees are under any authority to enforce any of those laws, but they may inquire about items which appear to be drugs, alcohol, or a weapon... and why? Because you voluntarily submitted to search that is looking for those types of items. YOU VOLUNTEERED to a search.
    And again, you don't understand the laws at work here, it seems.

    1. An employee CAN ask about a bottle, inhaler, needle, or anything else seen in the bag. Nobody is disputing that.

    2. The MANNER in which the CM asks is the issue here. She or he CANNOT disclose information about the bottle, inhaler, needle - or anything else that pertains to a guest's medical condition - to other park guests. She or he cannot ask a guest to explain her medical condition in front of other guests. It's that simple. It is the CM's responsibility to take the guest aside and talk to them where others cannot hear the conversation, so as not to violate HIPPAA policies. And bouncers, the TSA and security guards all routinely do this. They will just grab the medicine, pull you to the side, show it to you and ask you about it. It's not a big deal and it's standard protocol.

    Also, keep in mind in this case that the CM didn't actually ask me anything about the inhaler. She didn't read the label, ask me to tell her what it was for, or anything else. She simply loudly said "oh, here's an inhaler!" as an observation, in earshot of numerous park guests, which violated HIPPAA laws.
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  10. #70

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    I don't even think the CMs can ask about a bottle unless they either suspect it's an illegal substance or a dangerous device (i.e. explosive, weapon, etc). They have no right to know why you're bringing a medication with you, otherwise.

    Essentially, HIPAA states that you are only allowed to acquire the information necessary to perform your job. If they asked if I had any illegal substances in the pill bottle they grabbed from my bag, that would be appropriate and legal. Grabbing the pill bottle from my bag and showing it off means they shared that information with their coworker and any other guest who could see it. This is not necessary to their job. If they thought the bottle contained an illegal substance, they should have questions about it, and done so in a discreet manner, as Maline said.

    All of this should be basic training for any security CM. Whether it is or not, I don't know, but whether or not they are trained does not change the fact that it is a violation.

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  11. #71

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    Do you have any actual knowledge of the laws you're referring to?

    I do. Both HIPAA and control substance laws are very much a part of my career.
    I think you said you were a registered nurse or something, didn't you? I assume you probably aren't a cop because if you were then you would already know that transporting schedule II prescription drugs in a container other than one that bears your name and the type of drug inside may be illegal if you can't provide legal proof that the prescription drug belongs to you. Schedule I drugs would always be illegal, and the problem with any pills not in original packaging, or a legal prescription bottle, is that they may be subject to inspection to determine if they are illegal or not.

    [QUOTE=KellyMcG86;1057000188]These searches do not allow the employee to SHARE medical information - showing the inhaler or asking loudly about it, for any reason other than SECURITY PURPOSES is a violation of HIPAA, and likely a violation of their work poilcy as well.[QUOTE]

    I put in bold the part where you said "security reasons", but isn't that the answer? Aren't the employees attempting to rule out 'illegal items' for security reasons? The Disney website spells out all of the items which are not allowed, and medicine bottles are on the list. Not that you can't take your medications inside the park. But the checkpoint is looking for illegal items, or security risks as you mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    As for controlled substances - 1) The CM would have to determine that the medications were for recreational use, and not prescribed. They do not have the training to do this. 2) Inhalers are not "controlled substances" as in C4-3, some are prescribed, in which case the CM still has no right to ask what the inhaler is prescribed for or even why the customer has it, because that is MEDICAL information and in no way a concern for security.
    The CM will obviously never be expected to do a chemical analysis of the substances, but having pills in containers that are not printed prescription bottles is going to raise their suspicions as to whether or not they might be illegal items per the park's policy. Since you have agreed to a search for the reason of allowing them to enforce this policy, you have opened yourself up to a inquiry as to WHAT IS INSIDE THE BOTTLE. Which is not the same as asking you what your condition is.

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    You are very much confusing what a voluntary bag check is, and voluntarily submitting to the rules of entering Disney property, with your perception that somehow this search allows CMs to violate HIPAA and other such laws. They do not, in any way shape or form, indicate that people are voluntarily allowing the sharing of their medical information by submitting to a bag check.
    I'm not seeing any HIPPAA violation in attempting to determine what kind of pills are inside an unmarked container. In my opinion, common sense would dictate that if you are going to go through any type of security check, then pills need to be in original packaging (as with over the counter drugs), or in a printed prescription bottle (especially those that are controlled substances) in order to not raise suspicions.

    ...or put them in your pocket as I said in the first post.

  12. #72

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by USS Seawolf View Post
    I think you said you were a registered nurse or something, didn't you? I assume you probably aren't a cop because if you were then you would already know that transporting schedule II prescription drugs in a container other than one that bears your name and the type of drug inside may be illegal if you can't provide legal proof that the prescription drug belongs to you. Schedule I drugs would always be illegal, and the problem with any pills not in original packaging, or a legal prescription bottle, is that they may be subject to inspection to determine if they are illegal or not.

    I put in bold the part where you said "security reasons", but isn't that the answer? Aren't the employees attempting to rule out 'illegal items' for security reasons? The Disney website spells out all of the items which are not allowed, and medicine bottles are on the list. Not that you can't take your medications inside the park. But the checkpoint is looking for illegal items, or security risks as you mentioned.

    The CM will obviously never be expected to do a chemical analysis of the substances, but having pills in containers that are not printed prescription bottles is going to raise their suspicions as to whether or not they might be illegal items per the park's policy. Since you have agreed to a search for the reason of allowing them to enforce this policy, you have opened yourself up to a inquiry as to WHAT IS INSIDE THE BOTTLE. Which is not the same as asking you what your condition is.

    I'm not seeing any HIPPAA violation in attempting to determine what kind of pills are inside an unmarked container. In my opinion, common sense would dictate that if you are going to go through any type of security check, then pills need to be in original packaging (as with over the counter drugs), or in a printed prescription bottle (especially those that are controlled substances) in order to not raise suspicions.

    ...or put them in your pocket as I said in the first post.
    I am a pharmacist. May I ask your qualifications for interpreting the laws?

    My point is that they should be asking if they are an "illegal substance". If you say no, and they still believe it is, then they are beyond their training and have to call in someone else to determine if it is an illegal substance. For them to ask specifically what it is is going beyond information they need to perform their job. Unless they are aware of the schedule class of each medication, they have no knowledge to determine if the medication is schedule II vs. III. They also cannot determine if the medication was prescribed to the person or not, and even if it is labeled they cannot determine if the drug in the bottle matches what is on the label.

    My point is:

    They DID NOT ask if what was in my bottle was an illegal substance. That was clearly not the intent of them bringing it out of my backpack. Therefore, it does not fall under them performing their duty.

    They CANNOT determine medical appropriateness of medications, only if they suspect them to be illegal or not. To do this, they would have to either call in actual security who may or may not be trained, or law encorcement.

    They have no reason to determine WHAT KIND of pills are in a container. Only whether or not they are an illegal substance.

    Beyond all of this, and in rebuttle to every point you've made, is that they are not allowed to share that there are pills at all in the first place with other guests or coworkers (unless that coworker is helping). That is a violation, plain and simple. That is the point we are arguing - they are sharing information with people, which is against the law.

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  13. #73

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    And again, you don't understand the laws at work here, it seems.

    1. An employee CAN ask about a bottle, inhaler, needle, or anything else seen in the bag. Nobody is disputing that.

    2. The MANNER in which the CM asks is the issue here. She or he CANNOT disclose information about the bottle, inhaler, needle - or anything else that pertains to a guest's medical condition - to other park guests. She or he cannot ask a guest to explain her medical condition in front of other guests. It's that simple. It is the CM's responsibility to take the guest aside and talk to them where others cannot hear the conversation, so as not to violate HIPPAA policies. And bouncers, the TSA and security guards all routinely do this. They will just grab the medicine, pull you to the side, show it to you and ask you about it. It's not a big deal and it's standard protocol.

    Also, keep in mind in this case that the CM didn't actually ask me anything about the inhaler. She didn't read the label, ask me to tell her what it was for, or anything else. She simply loudly said "oh, here's an inhaler!" as an observation, in earshot of numerous park guests, which violated HIPPAA laws.

    How is saying "here is an inhaler" or "here is an unmarked bottle of pills" a HIPPAA violation? Commenting on an inhaler is not commenting on your condition. How would they know what anyone's condition is unless a person told them what their condition is?

    What happens if you have a glass bottle with a liquid substance inside at the checkpoint? The substance may just be water---- or it may be vodka. So if a CM says at the checkpoint, "here is a glass bottle with a clear liquid inside", he isn't saying you are smuggling booze inside or that you are a alcoholic. He's just observing an item which required further inspection.

    Put your inhaler in your pocket. Put pills in your pocket. Carry diabetic needles in a tiny bag in your hand or in jacket pocket.... or be prepared to have the employees at the security checkpoint search, observe and inquire about your personal ITEMS.

    I sympathize with people who need inhalers. And if it wasn't for the fact that there are people using inhalers as drug delivery methods, this wouldn't even be an issue. Logically, no Disney employee is concerned with anyone's personal medical information.

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    I get the point you're trying to make. And like you said, you weren't there. He showed it to his coworker, was smiling, and didn't ask me a single question about it, nor did he ask to see the contents of it. So no, I do not think he was asking if it was allowed. I think he was showing it to his coworker because it's a pretty ridiculous looking bottle. Which, like I said, if he had just asked if I minded I wouldn't have been bothered at all. Afterall, a rhinestone bottle should be celebrated in all it's shiny glory. But for someone to take it and show it off without asking, and without having any apparent security reason to (which still wouldn't excuse the manner in which he handled it) is not following any protocol that any other bag check would be performed.
    Aha! So there really was no HIPPAA violation was there? He just liked the bottle and was being unprofessional is all. So why bring up HIPPAA violation at all then?

    Just wondering?

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    Re: Rude Guest incident - a quick vent

    Quote Originally Posted by USS Seawolf View Post
    How is saying "here is an inhaler" or "here is an unmarked bottle of pills" a HIPPAA violation? Commenting on an inhaler is not commenting on your condition. How would they know what anyone's condition is unless a person told them what their condition is?
    HIPAA does not only apply to medical conditions. ANY medical information is subject to apply to this law. The CM shared that the customer carried an inhaler. This is medical information.

    Quote Originally Posted by USS Seawolf View Post
    Aha! So there really was no HIPPAA violation was there? He just liked the bottle and was being unprofessional is all. So why bring up HIPPAA violation at all then?

    Just wondering?
    As I explained above - showing a pill container is a HIPAA violation, just as showing an inhaler is.

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