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My PCP called a relative-emergency contact after I had seen

Resolved Question:

My PCP called a relative-emergency contact after I had seen him for a neck injury and severe headache to tell him that I had a nervous breakdown, was at risk, could not live in my house anymore and had to move to assisted living place.
Submitted: 1 year ago via LegalInfo.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 1 year ago.

TMcJD :

Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! However, I'm not sure what your question is. What is your question?

Customer:

Question: Can a PCP rely diagnosis info to a relative?

TMcJD :

After reviewing the law, I cannot provide you with a certain answer, so I will opt out and allow another expert to assist you. Thanks.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Different contributor here. Please permit me to assist.

Under federal patient privacy law (Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act: HIPAA), a health care service provider cannot disclose information to third parties without patient consent. The existence of an emergency contact information implies consent to contact in emergency circumstances.

The issue here is whether or not the physician reasonably believed that you required emergency assistance. I believe that there is no reasonable possibility that this could be true, because had the physician really believed that you were in emergency mental health distress, then he/she would have contacted law enforcement or adult protective services, and you would have been taken into custody for mental health observation, until you were cleared by a psychiatrist as mentally competent to care fore yourself.

I don't doubt that the physician had honorable motives, however, on balance, it appears that he/she may have violated the HIPAA privacy rule.

Your recourse is to file a complaint with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). You cannot file a private lawsuit against the physician. Federal law does not permit individual legal action. Only a DHHS complaint is permitted.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience: Retired (mostly)
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


When did HIPAA go into effect?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
December 28, 2000.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


When did HIPAA go in effect?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
The original Act of Congress took effect, January 1, 1997. However, the privacy rule wasn't enacted until Dec. 28, 2000, so as a practical matter, the law couldn't be enforced until Dec. 28, 2000.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34634
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 12 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

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