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LADYLAWYER
LADYLAWYER, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Civil; Family; HOA; Landlord/Tenant; Real Estate; Probate; Insurance; Immigration; Wills & Trusts
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Hypothetically - An individual (person A - a femaled named

Customer Question

Hypothetically - An individual (person A - a femaled named Laura) sets up a consultation with a substance abuse councelor, employed directly by a substance abuse rehabilitation program/treatment center, to stage an intervention on a friend (person B - a male named Kevin). It was made clear to the councelor by Keving that no communication was to be made with ANYONE ELSE involving any alternate treatment plans, patient progress, appointment dates, etc. beyond the initial intervention (when the councelor was permitted by Kevin to give her treatment recommendation ONLY to Laura and others directly involved with the intervention). Kevin is assured that absolutley no information can be provided to any other party at any time beyond the intervention without Kevin giving consent AND signing a Consent Form. Kevin never signed such a consent form. Since Laura set up the intervention, the substance abuse rehab program/treatment center entered electronically into their computer system Laura's information (phone, address, etc.) which was input under Kevin's name as the patient. Laura's intention of simply staging an intervention for was made clear to the rehab program/treatment center, as well as the fact (or reasonable inference) that she was not the patient, only a friend looking for professional help on staging and intervention for Kevin. Nonetheless, the rehab program/treatment center knowingly and carelessly entered Kevin into their system as a patient without his knowledge (for which a decision was never made regarding if or if not Kevin was even planning on becoming a patient) with Laura's information as the main contact number, etc. Essentially, a patient profile was electronically created for Kevin by Laura using her contact information in lue of his. The rehab center never realized or attempted to correct or modify this record, and Kevin was never informed of its creation in the first place.

After the intervention, Kevin was in close contact with the councelor regarding entering the medical rehab facility (including time constraints due to Kevin's employer's FMLA filing policy, insurance queries, out of pocket expenses, etc.), during all of which it was made clear to the councelor, and reaffirmed to Kevin, that no information was to or would be disclosed about Kevin's questions, concerns or final decision to enter the medical treatment facility. No decision was ever made, and the councelor knew that Kevin still had unanswered questions, as well as the fact that his employer's FMLA filing policy would not allow himto enter the program for at least 30 days from the time Kevin would have had made a decision on whether or not to attend the medical treatment facility.

Again, the rehab facility negligently set up an intake date for Kevin to enter the facility and meet with another councelor (again, completely without his knowledge). Let's say that intake date was June 30th at 10:00 AM. At approximately 11:00 AM, when Kevin did not arrive at the treatment center (obviously), the scheduling nurse pulled up Kevin's patient file on the treatment center's computer to contact Kevin as to why he had missed his appointment. But, again, because the center created a file for Kevin with Laura's contact information, Laura was contacted by the scheduling nurse instead, who went on to tell her that Kevin was to be admitted that day, he was late, and asked Laura if Kevin was planning on rescheduling. (*Any reasonable person would have realized that the names Kevin and Laura were male and female, whose last names did not match, as well as how obvious it should have been to the nurse that she was speaking to a female on behalf of a male patient, especially one who had given zero consent to the initial intervention councelor, who set up the intake date in connection with her medical supervisor, to contact anyone but Kevin regarding this matter). Laura having been given this information has now caused irreparable personal and reputation harm to Kevin.

The question is: Does Kevin have any legal recourse against the medical rehabilitation facility for breach of privacy, or something similar, under HIPPA based on these events and circumstances? And if so, what type of attorney or practice would best handle such a case?

Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 2 years ago.

LADYLAWYER : Hello, Thanks for choosing Justanswer.com! I look forward to helping you with legal information today. Please give me a moment to review your question and to answer you.
LADYLAWYER : Psychiatrists and treatment facilities are subject to the HIPAA regulations. However, the HIPAA laws do not give a citizen a private cause of action for a violation--which, by the way, this was. Kevin is free to file a HIPAA Violation Complaint with the DOJ but if he wants to sue privately, he would need to do so under breach of contact, breach of privacy, or some legal theory of the like.
LADYLAWYER : Here is the link where Kevin can file the HIPAA complaint: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/hipcomplaintform.pdf. And here is a site where Kevin can search for a civil litigator in his area who can assist him with a private cause of action against the offending parties or facilities: www.martindale.com.
LADYLAWYER : If you have any further questions about this matter, please let me know. If not, please don't forget to rate my answer before you exit the chat so that I might receive credit for my time. Thank you!
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LADYLAWYER, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6531
Experience: Civil; Family; HOA; Landlord/Tenant; Real Estate; Probate; Insurance; Immigration; Wills & Trusts
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Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

It appears you may have tried to post a follow up question to me but I cannot see it for some reason, could you please repost? Also, it seems you had accepted and rated my answer but that you may have changed your mind. I always strive to provide excellent customer service so please just let me know how I can achieve that today. Thanks!

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