Is it legal for her doctor's office put her medical records online without her permission?

Asked over 1 year ago - Buffalo, NY

My wife's doctor's office recently "web enabled" her on a patient portal website that apparently stores all of her medical information on it. They did so without her permission (written, verbal, or otherwise), and she was told that it is all ready for her if she chooses to use it. I have a feeling this holds true for all their patients.

I have a BIG problem with them not asking permission, or having us go through an account creation process where we agree to terms and conditions and privacy policies.

What if the wrong person gets emailed another person's credentials, what if someone hacks the system, etc. ?

Also, it is a publicly accessible website with low-grade security measures in place.

What can we do to get her "disabled?"

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is no private right to sue under HIPAA.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  2. Rafael Omar Gomez

    Contributor Level 10

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The new age of electronic medical records I driving many providers to give patients the type of access you describe. There are typically numerous safeguards in place to protect this information to prevent exactly what you are concerned about. Although no method is totally foolproof you should contact the provider to find out what safeguards have been out into effect. This is not a situation where a simple email will allow access to the records so I think this will help curb some of your fears.

  3. Michael Ryan Juarez

    Contributor Level 16

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You could start with requesting the electronic file to be destroyed as it was uploaded without her permission. However, paperless systems are now very common. You are fighting a uphill battle and have my support. Good luck.

    -Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.... more
  4. Tatiana Kadetskaya

    Contributor Level 19

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No private right to file a lawsuit under the HIPAA law.

  5. J Charles Ferrari

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is a government requirement that medical records be stored electronically.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not... more

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