[ Tuesday, July 16, 2013 ]
In Florida, HIPAA and Malpractice Law Collide:
Jeff [10:42 AM]
Plaintiff's lawyers are suing to prevent this
from becoming effective, but Florida law now allows a malpractice defendant to interview and obtain PHI from other physicians who treated the plaintiff, ex parte
(without the plaintiff or plaintiff's lawyer being there). The idea is that the plaintiff has brought his/her medical condition into question in bringing the lawsuit, and the defendant has the right to talk to other doctors to see if (i) the other doctors might have contributed to any potential bad outcome or (ii) the other doctors support the accused doctor. The opposition to this idea is that the plaintiff shouldn't have to waive all privacy rights to potentially unrelated medical issues just to get a day in court when he/she's been injured.
But it's not really a HIPAA issue. If the state allows discovery in the course of a judicial proceeding, then that type of disclosure is specifically allowed under HIPAA. There's no conflict with the workings of the regulations, just the underlying question of how to balance these competing concepts of privacy.
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