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Maverick, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5751
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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I went to my pain doctors office but had to see another

Customer Question

I went to my pain doctors office but had to see another doctor due to scheduling. While we were in the room there was a young lady guessing assistant who stayed the entire time of the visit in the room. The doctor again is a pain management doctor who asked the following questions with the assistant present. 1) Does addiction run in my family and have I ever been addicted to anything? 2) Has there ever been sexual abuse in my life? Now I find this very offensive since there's a third party who is not a doctor, no to the addiction but yes to sexual abuse. Is this legal?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Maverick replied 2 months ago.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Ok thank you
Expert:  Maverick replied 2 months ago.

The HIPAA privacy laws do not state that only a doctor must be present in the examination room. However, they do state that the doctor and his staff should have access to all information that they need to do their jobs; but should not have access to any unnecessary information.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for that information regarding the law. Is the question about any sexual abuse from a pain doctor unnecessary information? The matter is a serious part of my private life that only should be relevant to my therapist or psychiatrist.
Expert:  Maverick replied 2 months ago.

You would be in the best position to judge that based on the specific medical purpose of your visit. Also, a doctor's technical perspective of what considered relevant may have some weight here. For example, this question may have some relevance if you went for a vaginal exam; not sure...

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My visit was for pain management due to 2 inverted discs and 1 bulging disc in my lower back and spine from a car accident? I'm just astonished and glad to now know that basically all parties in a doctors office have access to my information.
Expert:  Maverick replied 2 months ago.

Yes, in that case this sexual abuse information seems to be unnecessary. HIPAA does not provide for a private cause of action; but you may file a complaint here.

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