The Journal profiled attorney Patricia Galvin, who was denied disability benefits after her health insurer, UnumProvident, accessed notes from psychotherapy sessions at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. According to the Journal, UnumProvident said the notes indicated that Galvin was not "too injured to work" after she was involved in a car accident and applied for long-term disability leave. UnumProvident had asked Galvin to sign a broad release to access her basic medical records, which included some of the psychotherapist's notes about Galvin that Stanford had scanned into its computer records system. Galvin has filed a lawsuit against Stanford and UnumProvident for violating medical privacy laws, among other issues, under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA includes added protection for mental health records, but Stanford in court papers said that "psychotherapy notes that are kept together with the patient's other medical records are not defined as 'psychotherapy' notes under HIPAA."
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
It Wasn't Me
Oh sure. Now not only can you use HIPAA to excuse just about anything you can torture into congruence, you can torture HIPAA itself to prove that you are not actually responsible for any actual violation, and of course without enforcement, who is to say you are wrong? From the Wall Street Journal, via Kaisernetwork.com --