Jessica Karmasek reports on a case in West Virginia that seems to pit the state trying to protect patient privacy rights under HIPAA against those trying to advocate for patients. While patient advocacy is generally considered a Good Thing, does providing patient records to a non-covered entity like Legal Aid without patient consent violate HIPAA? Is there anything in the state law that would trump privacy rights under HIPAA? If so, how could that be??
West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis again called out the court majority in a dissent filed this week, this time accusing her fellow justices of an “arrogant and complete disregard of federal law.”
Davis dissented to an Oct. 15 opinion, in which a majority of the court’s justices ruled that the state Department of Health and Human Resources must follow an order issued by Kanawha Circuit Court Judge Louis “Duke” Boom in August 2014 to immediately restore access to patients and patient records to the patient advocates working at Mildred-Mitchell Bateman Hospital in Huntington and William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston – in this case, Legal Aid of West Virginia.
The DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities – represented by state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey – had argued that the circuit court’s order violated both the patients’ constitutional rights to privacy and the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, more commonly known as HIPAA.
Read more about the case on Coal Valley News.
Thanks to @JohnHolstein for this link.