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I faxed a medical release request form with all personal…

I faxed a medical...

I faxed a medical release request form with all personal information on it to my Dr. office. The fax number provided on their letterhead was a ligit

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes, the phone number was not theirs and I don't know who received my personal information!

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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/9/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,316
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today.

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. What specific questions did you have? I have an idea about your situation, but I don’t want to make any assumptions.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I am reporting a breach of confidentiality between Doctor and client due to a bad fax number on the dr office letterhead
causing my personal info to land in the hands of a stranger
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
this is too costly already, no thanks

Oh, that’s not a problem with the phone call. The system automatically asks if you want one, but there is no problem declining the request. One moment while I review your situation.

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I understand. Well, HIPAA requires that employers do not disclose personally identifiable medical information to a third party without the patient's consent. The information has to not only contain medical information (e.g. diagnosis and test results), but also be personally identifiable to the patient (e.g. your name, address, etc.).

In this case, I don't believe that it was a HIPAA violation because they didn't disclose this information to a third party.

There may be another cause of action. So, have you suffered any adverse affect from having your information sent to the wrong party?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Not sure yet. I wish I could cross reference the number to see who it belongs to.

I understand. Well, if something bad does happen, like a credit card is opened in your name, then this to me sounds like a classic case of negligence if they provided you the wrong fax #. Negligence simply means that there was a duty that the other party owed and they breached that duty in some way. What is most important is that it is proven that the defendant breached their duty of care because that is what mostly determines whether there is a cause of action. Basically, the question is, “Did the defendant’s actions fall below the standard of care for a reasonable person in a similar situation?” If the answer to that question is yes, then there is negligence and you are entitled to damages. In this case, it's arguable that a reasonable doctor's office would have provided their accurate fax number and could have prevented any harm. If there is no harm yet, there's not much to worry about, but keep it in your back pocket.

Did you have any other questions for me regarding this?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I do have tangible evidence which is a medical report received from them which has the wrong fax # printed on the letterhead below their logo

I think that is a good idea to keep that documentation. Having that handy will be useful if you have to take further action. How else can I help you today?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
that's it and thank you.

The pleasure is all mine! Unless you have additional questions, there’s just a few other things I’d like you to know before we wrap up this conversation:

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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,316
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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