[ Monday, September 19, 2011 ]


Interesting Hospital Privacy Case: A cop in Hawaii posts a picture on his facebook page with the caption, "See when you like steal copper." The picture is of a suspected copper thief, in a hospital bed, with burns all over his body. The Honolulu Police Department and the District Attorney are trying to figure out a way to charge the cop with a crime. HPD has no social media policy, so the cop didn't violate that. Of course, HIPAA is mentioned but (i) the newspaper makes a total botch of trying to explain it, and (ii) HIPAA doesn't apply to a cop or a police force, unless they are a healthcare plan, provider, or clearinghouse, or a business associate of a plan, provider or clearinghouse.

The hospital could theoretically be liable, but only if they could have reasonably prevented the cop from taking the picture; I don't see that happening.

Jeff [9:19 AM]

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