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Health care provider told my sister about my health problems?

Scottsdale, AZ |

My mother, sister, and I go to the same primary physician. My sister & I had a very serious falling out several years ago. We haven't spoken in 8 years.

She left a message on our mother's phone asking if I was doing ok following my diagnosis of a heart defect. At that point I hadn't told a single person. My sister told my mother that a nurse in the practice told her all about it.

When I updated my office forms, less than 3 months ago, I gave specific instructions, in writing, that under no circumstance were they to release or discuss my medical treatment/disease with my sister.

It was none of her business & I'm very upset they shared my medical information with her without my consent. Is there anything I can do about this?

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Attorney answers 1


You don't explain how the nurse came to leave a message on your Mother's phone, not yours. As a first step, you could speak to the practice administrator or your primary care physician, both of whom likely will take a very dim view of this careless behavior by a nurse employee of the practice. But setting that aside, you MAY have a federal claim for a HIPPA violation and a state claim for breach of privacy. These claims could be against the practice that employed the nurse as well as the involved nurse. Additionally, you could report the involved nurse to the Arizona Board of Nursing, which licenses nurses in Arizona and investigates complaints against them by patients like you. Making a complaint to the Board would be a good step after you speak to your physician. NOTE: THIS INFORMATION IS FOR GENERAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE.

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