Health Information Management

Reno judge says HIPAA doesn't prevent physician from sharing PHI

HIM-HIPAA Insider, March 2, 2009

HIPAA doesn’t prevent attorneys from questioning physicians about their patients’ information when the patients are involved in a lawsuit, says Reno, NV Federal Judge Valerie Cooke, according to a February 4 article in the Reno Gazette Journal.
The case arose when Iris Parker’s husband Arthur died after using a drug manufactured by Upsher-Smith Laboratories to treat atrial fibrillation. Parker’s attorney opposed a request by Upsher-Smith attorneys to interview the physicians who treated the Parker’s late husband on the grounds that such an interview would have violated patient privacy laws. Cooke disagreed and has permitted the Upsher-Smith attorneys to interview the physicians.
"Nevada statutes recognize that the physician-patient privilege does not exist when a person places protected information at issue by filing a lawsuit," Steven Guinn, lawyer for Upsher-Smith, told the newspaper.
Click here to read the Reno Gazette Journal article.

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