Federal authorities have launched an investigation concerning Republican State Senate candidate Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant, after a complaint alleged the Henrico doctor used her private patient information to solicit contributions, volunteers and votes.
The investigation is being led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights. The Department’s regional bureau in Philadelphia confirmed the ongoing investigation.
At the center of the inquiry are letters and emails from Dunnavant to her patients, announcing her intention to run for Virginia’s 12thDistrict Senate seat. The letters reassured patients the quality of their care would not be affected if voters elected Dunnavant to represent the West End of Henrico and western Hanover County.
However, concerns were raised when the letters, paid for by Friends of Siobhan Dunnavant, included several ways for her OB/GYN patients to become involved in the doctor’s campaign.
A violation of HIPAA, the federal act protecting security of patient records, may have occurred if the addresses were reviewed by anyone outside of Dr. Dunnavant’s medical practice.
Read more on NBC12.
Thanks to the reader who alerted me to this news story.