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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Can a law enforcement officer be in violation of hipaa for

Customer Question

can a law enforcement officer be in violation of hipaa for disclosing another law enforcement officer medical issues to a civil service board to try any get them terminated.
without permission.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with your question.
HIPAA prevents health care providers from disclosing your health information to other parties. It does not apply, however, to the police, since the police are not health care providers as defined in the act. The police have no obligations under HIPAA.
That doesn't mean that the police can try to get you fired, harass you or spread untrue stories about you. If they are doing anything like that, you could report the officers involved to their superiors, file a report with Internal Affairs and report them also to the State Attorney General's Office, which should trigger an investigation into the officer's practices, and subject the officers involved to possible sanctions such as warning, suspension or termination from the force.
You can also contact a civil litigator to see whether you have a viable suit against the police. Police are immune from suit or prosecution while acting during the scope of their job unless there is evidence or misconduct. If they know that what they are telling people about you is casting you in a false light and are doing it maliciously, that may be enough to overcome the immunity hurdle, but you'd want to consult with a local civil trial lawyer who can give you a better sense of the strength of your case, since he practices this sort of law.