Health Information Management

Man sues hospital for releasing blood-alcohol test, violating privacy laws

HIM-HIPAA Insider, December 3, 2007

A man previously arrested for drunk driving recently filed a lawsuit against Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, in Gresham, OR for releasing his blood alcohol test results to local police, according to a November 16 article in The Oregonian.

Police arrested the man on April, 2006, when he was involved in a car accident. He refused to let police test his blood alcohol level. The man's attorney claims that after the accident, the man then went to Legacy Mount Hood to have his blood alcohol level tested out of curiosity, according to the article. The man believed the Gresham hospital would not release his test results, as per HIPAA, though a hospital employee subsequently informed the authorities of the test results.

The lawsuit claims that "medical workers have an obligation to tell police if they treat a driver for injuries from a vehicle crash and believe the patient has a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08 percent," but a physician never actually treated the man, so the legal requirement to disclose the test result wasn't applicable, according to the Oregonian.

For more information, click here.

    Briefings on APCs
  • Briefings on APCs

    Worried about the complexities of the new rules under OPPS and APCs? Briefings on APCs helps you understand the new rules...

  • HIM Briefings

    Guiding Health Information Management professionals through the continuously changing field of medical records and toward a...

  • Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies

    Submitting improper Medicare documentation can lead to denial of fees, payback, fines, and increased diligence from payers...

  • Briefings on HIPAA

    How can you minimize the impact of HIPAA? Subscribe to Briefings on HIPAA, your health information management resource for...

  • APCs Insider

    This HTML-based e-mail newsletter provides weekly tips and advice on the new ambulatory payment classifications regulations...

Most Popular