Sep 142015
 September 14, 2015  Healthcare

Did a healthcare clinic in Texas call the cops and turn in a patient for presenting false ID? And if so, does that violate HIPAA? Michael Barajas reports:

…. When Borrego arrived at the clinic last Thursday for her routine annual exam, staff told her they needed to update her file and, after she filled out some paperwork, they asked for an ID. Borrego, an undocumented immigrant who overstayed her visa some 12 years ago, handed staff a fake driver’s license. Then she waited. Borrego’s eldest daughter, who asked that her name not be published, says her mother was about to give up and leave when staff finally called her back into an examination room.

Minutes later, Borrego’s daughter saw Harris County Sheriff’s deputies march her mother out of the clinic. She says her 8-year-old sister started to cry when she saw the handcuffs.

“We’re going to take her downtown, she presented a form of false identification,” Borrego’s daughter recalled the deputy saying. He said their mother’s bond would probably be around $20,000, and added, “She’s going to get deported.”

Read more on Houston Press. This is a very concerning situation. If people are afraid to seek care for fear of arrest, we may have more widespread communicable diseases. And is this a violation of HIPAA, or is there an exemption that somehow applies? I hope to see more coverage and discussion of this case.

Thanks to Joe Cadillic for this link.

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