[ Thursday, January 06, 2011 ]
A nurse in east Texas claims she was fired
in retaliation for her complaints that other staff and physicians posted photos of sedated patients on their Facebook pages. If true, it would be hard to argue that posting a photo of a patient's face was not a disclosure of PHI, if there was any indication that the individual was a patient. It's hard to see any treatment, payment, or healthcare operations reason for such postings, and if the patients consented, then we'd probably know that already. Maybe the photos were not identifiable? If there's no link between the photo and the fact that the person in the photo was a patient, the photo might not be PHI, but releasing it might give rise to some other sort of invasion of privacy tort. Interesting.
Jeff [12:12 PM]
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