My former GP doctor dropped me as a patient after I declined a referral that was unnecessary. I found out from several current patients of hers that she has been discussing my medical records without my permission.
The duty of confidentiality continues even after a patient has stopped seeing or being treated by that particular doctor. The duty even survives the death of a patient. That means if the patient passes away, his or her medical records and information are still protected by doctor-patient confidentiality.
See more at: http://injury.findlaw.com/medical-malpractice/breaches-of-doctor-patient-confidentiality.html
HIPAA has no private right of action.you can file a HIPAA complaint with HHS. You might have a claim under California's Confidentiality of Medical Information Act but statutory damages are pretty low, so you would need to prove damages. In the end it may not be really worth it, so your best bet is to sit down with an attorney and see if you have a case with admissible evidence...
This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship nor shall any of this information be construed as providing legal advice. Laws change over time and differ from state to state. These answers are based on California Law.Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney about your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship is established.
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Federal law applies, unless otherwise specified.
That being said, what you describe is a HIPAA breach; the doctor may not discuss your medical issues with other patients without your consent, regardless of whether you are still a patient or not. There is no private right of action under HIPAA, although you may have a right to sue under state privacy or medical malpractice laws. You can file a complaint with the federal government about the HIPAA breach (see link below for online complaint form) but you won't be compensated by the federal government process for any damages the doctor caused.
/Christopher E. Ezold/
I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My practice includes employment, business and health care law. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies.
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