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I am sorry to hear your son has been going through this. Under HIPAA, the provider is prohibited from disclosing only personal healthcare information. This issue of billing is not one that is personal healthcare information protected under HIPAA. What this would be considered is an inconsiderate employee
who has no tact and needs to be reported to the doctor. As far as the payment, if his medicaid had not been approved yet and the doctor was not willing to risk waiting for the approval, they do have the right to charge.
I understand this is embarrassing and if she disclosed in front of other patients he had medicaid or was pursuing SSDI benefits, then this is something that he could potentially sue for breach of their duty of confidentiality
, but in order to succeed on the suit he would have to prove damages. Damages in a case like this are the hardest part of the case, since there is usually no doubt the administrator made the comments in front of others, but proving the amount of damages he suffered directly from her comments could make it so his case would not be worth filing and that can only be determined from an examination of the facts and a little investigation locally by an attorney to see the potential value of those damages.
So it is possible he could make a claim against the doctor's office for breach of their duty of confidentiality, but it will require a damage analysis locally to determine the viability of that kind of suit.
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