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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Hi- Does HIPPA appliy to veterinarians I recently took my

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Hi- Does HIPPA appliy to veterinarians? I recently took my ill dog to an emergency clinic. While there, upset and frustrated with the wait, I said something rude to the technician while we were in the exam room. I immediately apologized and later that week dropped off a personal note of apology and some chocolates.
The technician apparently told a local reporter about the interaction and the reporter recounted it in writing, including my full name and the name of the hospital where I had sought treatment. The reporter also intimated that I waited too long to get my dog the help she needed.
This has caused me public humilation and personal angst- it may even impact my job at a local animal shelter.
Is there any recourse for me against this hospital for violating my privacy?
Thank you for your question.

HIPAA does not apply to veterinarians as your pets do not have the same confidentiality privileges that HIPAA provides to human patients. As such, while, crass, there is no violation here especially since the comment that you made and was subsequently reported was accurate--there is also no defamation claim.

I am sorry.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 5/21/2010 at 3:00 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX there anything I can do? It doesn't seem fair that someone at an emergency clinic can be exposed for simply being upset.
You are most welcome.

Hmm, the problem is that the news have an exception to most claims of invasion of privacy--the 1st amendment specifically deems that any item deemed "newsworthy" cannot be pursued for invasion of privacy. You can still attempt to sue for invasion of privacy under grounds of public disclosure of private facts but I do not think you will prevail. At this point it may be better, and cheaper, to just move on from this situation.

Good luck to you.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 5/21/2010 at 3:25 AM EST
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