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Hospital Cited After Staff Members Photographed a Patient’s Genital Injury

Hospital CitedMedical information on a patient is supposed to be confidential and protected – and for good reason. Some breaches of privacy can emotionally damage a patient, and it may even lead to physical harm (i.e. situations involving domestic violence). Sadly, there are healthcare professionals who either fail to understand this, or simply do not care. Take, for example, the staff members who recently photographed and then shared photographs of a patient’s genitals.

Although the individuals involved were ultimately disciplined for their actions, the victim may still have suffered emotional or physical distress. Might the patient have any form of recourse, and if so, what? The following information explores the answer to this question, and it provides details on how an experienced medical malpractice lawyer may be able to assist with your breach of confidentiality case.

Compensation for Breach of Confidentiality

Although the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) made it illegal for doctors and other healthcare professionals to share information about their patients without consent, the Office for Civil Rights (the agency responsible for enforcing the law) receives reports on more than 30,000 violations each year. Most are related to single-patient, single-provider breaches that occurred because of negligence, jealousy, or a desire for retribution.

Sadly, recovering compensation for such situations can be extremely difficult – and in some cases, nearly impossible. HIPPA does not consider breaches a compensable act, which places the burden back on the state’s medical tort system. Unfortunately, not all states treat breaches the same. In fact, some will completely dismiss such cases, and others may offer only limited compensation, even if the harm to a patient is extensive.

A Los Angeles case, in which a patient sued UCLA and the Regents of the University of California sued for damages after a romantic rival accessed her medical records and shared them. Though the physician ultimately admitted that he had improperly shared his password and login information with the temp worker, the employee was let off the hook completely. So was the facility. In fact, only the physician had to settle on the case.

Protecting Your Right to Pursue Compensation

Because patients are at risk for a complete dismissal of their breach of confidentiality cases, victims of privacy breaches are encouraged to seek legal assistance. Backed by years of litigation and trial experience, Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP can aggressively represent you in your case. Dedicated and experienced, our San Jose medical malpractice lawyers will fight for the most compensation possible, and we will protect your rights and best interests, every step of the way. Schedule a free initial consultation to get started. Call (408) 289-1417 today.

Client Reviews
My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.