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Wed Sep 1, 2021, 01:36 PM

Question: How is Texas Anti-Abortion law not a violation of HIPPA laws?

Especially this weird civil suit against anyone who helps someone get and abortion.

Women of child bearing age no longer have any medical privacy rights?

28 replies, 2906 views

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Reply Question: How is Texas Anti-Abortion law not a violation of HIPPA laws? (Original post)
mackdaddy Sep 2021 OP
Maine Abu El Banat Sep 2021 #1
hlthe2b Sep 2021 #2
Gruenemann Sep 2021 #17
H2O Man Sep 2021 #3
jmbar2 Sep 2021 #4
treestar Sep 2021 #7
Maru Kitteh Sep 2021 #5
Caliman73 Sep 2021 #6
mackdaddy Sep 2021 #8
Hugh_Lebowski Sep 2021 #9
Fiendish Thingy Sep 2021 #13
Mr.Bill Sep 2021 #24
CrackityJones75 Sep 2021 #26
Mr.Bill Sep 2021 #28
FakeNoose Sep 2021 #10
piddyprints Sep 2021 #11
WillowTree Sep 2021 #15
Fiendish Thingy Sep 2021 #18
WillowTree Sep 2021 #20
Fiendish Thingy Sep 2021 #22
piddyprints Sep 2021 #25
WillowTree Sep 2021 #12
Fiendish Thingy Sep 2021 #14
WillowTree Sep 2021 #16
roamer65 Sep 2021 #19
llmart Sep 2021 #21
roamer65 Sep 2021 #23
CrackityJones75 Sep 2021 #27

Response to mackdaddy (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 01:38 PM

1. Interesting

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Response to mackdaddy (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 01:39 PM

2. psst... HIPAA

Last edited Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:48 PM - Edit history (1)

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

And, the answer, they don't give a damn. Women, in their opinion, have no rights. They are the American Taliban.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:46 PM

17. psst...damn

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Response to mackdaddy (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 01:40 PM

3. Recommended.

Great point.

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Response to mackdaddy (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 01:42 PM

4. What are the laws against false accusations?

Seems like this would be open season on women from vengeful ex-husbands, boyfriends, jealous girlfriends, etc.

Also, what about the men responsible for the abortion? Shouldn't they be reported too?

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Response to jmbar2 (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 01:57 PM

7. +1

Who would suspect an abortion other than the people closest to the pregnant woman? Who do they think is going to report?

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Response to mackdaddy (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 01:43 PM

5. Pretty easy really. HIPAA is not what people think it is.

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Response to mackdaddy (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 01:52 PM

6. Not defending the Texas law, but can you explain how the HIPAA violation would occur?

HIPAA covers health care providing entities. Your doctor, hospital, etc... cannot reveal health information to others without your consent. Typically, HIPAA is exempt from subpoenas, etc...

Unless medical clinics are willy nilly giving people's health information over to others, I don't see how the law would violate HIPAA. If an investigation (sanctioned by law) is requesting the information, then HIPAA would not apply.

For example, I work in protective services. There are times when I need to see a person's medical records to investigate say, caregiver neglect. I will call or fax a request for records to the PCP, hospital, etc... I sometimes get pushback, "I cannot violate HIPAA." to which I respond by sending them the section of state law which carves out HIPAA exemptions for duly authorized government entities carrying out investigations etc... I get the records.

AGAIN, just so we are clear. The Texas Law is HORRIBLE and should be struck down for multiple reasons. Just, that HIPAA is not likely one of them.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:08 PM

8. As I understand it, ANYONE can bring a civil lawsuit against someone who Aids in an abortion.

This is from news reports, but supposedly anyone can bring a 10k+legal fees lawsuit against anyone who "aids and abets" an abortion.

So first how do these Random people know about a woman who got and abortion?
Second if they are in a civil suit it is not under a law enforcement officer request.

And it would seem the LEO should have a lawful reason to do the Medical records request. So is an abortion now give the cause to request to see if it "legal"?

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Response to mackdaddy (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:26 PM

9. How would they know? First off they could be family or friends ...

Secondly some idiot could post on FB 'my sister just got an abortion at XYZ clinic in TX' and then potentially 100's of 1000's of people 'know'.

The question of 'how would that be confirmed' though is an interesting legal one, as you are pointing out. Would the existence of such a civil suit be enough to cause the judge to subpoena records to confirm/deny the accusation, and would that have to be honored by the medical provider, by law?

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:41 PM

13. The Texas law bans abortions after six weeks- determining that may involve HIPAA breach

A Texas resident could post on Facebook “I got an abortion, and my mom drove me there and my boyfriend paid for it”. Now, some vigilante could try to sue them all under the new law, but my understanding is the suit can only succeed if the woman was more than six weeks into her pregnancy.

Since the law also prohibits any government agency from being involved in investigation or enforcement of the law, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. They would have to convince the majority of jurors that 1) an abortion actually occurred and 2) the pregnant woman was more than six weeks pregnant.

I don’t know how that would be proved without violating HIPAA - can people be compelled to provide personal health records in a civil suit?

HIPAA may be the ACLU’s path to challenging this law.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 04:14 PM

24. My wife spent her last five years as an RN before retiring

as a case manager at a hospital. She says medical records are subpoenaed almost daily, mostly by the courts. I was on a Grand Jury once, and we subpoenaed them. People are way over confident that their medical records ar forever an absolute secret.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #24)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 04:57 PM

26. Yeah but what is the bar to be able to do that.

 

I don’t know that what amounts to an accusation is going to justify gaining access to someone’s medical info.

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Response to CrackityJones75 (Reply #26)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 05:12 PM

28. That would be up to a judge. It's usually in regards to an investigation.

Or in my case as a member of a Grand Jury, a group of ordinary citizens. It did require a supermajority vote of 12 of the 19 Jurors. Technically, the Grand Jury works for the judge and needs their signature, But in the case of a Civil Grand Jury investigation, the Jury is empowered to get the subpoena by the state constitution, and the judge is compelled. I don't know what would happen if the judge refused. May not be that way in every state. I have met many politicians, lawyers and even a DA who did not know this.

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Response to mackdaddy (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:31 PM

10. HIPPA tells health professionals how they must act to protect patients' privacy

This new law is anti-HIPPA. It's individuals spying on their friends and neighbors, and reporting them if they get an abortion or some other procedure that might be an abortion.


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Response to mackdaddy (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:35 PM

11. HIPAA only counts

when you're asking anti-vaxxers about their vaccination status. You pregnancy is everyone's business. That's how it works with these morons.

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Response to piddyprints (Reply #11)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:44 PM

15. HIPAA does NOT "count when you're asking anti-vaxxers about their vaccination status"

HIPAA only defines what information healthcare providers and insurance companies can release about their patients/clients and under what circumstances they can release it. It in no way restricts anyone else from asking questions about medical conditions/status from an individual.

Amazing how many people think they know what that law does and how few actually do.

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Response to WillowTree (Reply #15)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 03:21 PM

18. But the individual could decline to reply.

If the individual has not signed a release, disclosure of health information by a provider to a third party (not a government agency, which Texas law forbids from enforcing this law) would be a violation of HIPAA.

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Reply #18)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 03:49 PM

20. I suggest you actually read the law

First, if the "person" you're referring to is not a doctor or healthcare professional or insurer, i.e. the patient or one who might have "abetted" the abortion, they can decline to reply so long as they are not under oath. If they are, I suppose their options are either to lie and risk being charged with perjury or to "plead the fifth" as long as criminal charges are a possibility. I'm not sure what other legal options there are.

Secondly, if the "person" you're referring to is a doctor or healthcare professional, of course they could decline to reply, but in this situation, responding, even without a release from the patient, would not be a HIPAA violation as outlined below.

"Permitted Uses and Disclosures

A covered entity is permitted, but not required, to use and disclose protected health information, without an individual’s authorization, for the following purposes or situations:


- Disclosure to the individual (if the information is required for access or accounting of disclosures, the entity MUST disclose to the individual)

-Treatment, payment, and healthcare operations

- Opportunity to agree or object to the disclosure of PHI (Informal permission may be obtained by asking the individual outright, or by circumstances that clearly give the individual the opportunity to agree, acquiesce, or object)

- Incident to an otherwise permitted use and disclosure

- Public interest and benefit activities—The Privacy Rule permits use and disclosure of protected health information, without an individual’s authorization or permission, for 12 national priority purposes

1- When required by law
"

So, if they are being questioned as part of an investigation under this Texas law, they can provide the requested information if they choose to without committing a HIPAA violation.

Again, familiarizing yourself with the actual provisions of a law before commenting on it is usually a good idea. YMMV

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Response to WillowTree (Reply #20)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 04:05 PM

22. My comments were all within the context of the law

I was a provider covered under HIPAA, and am quite familiar with the limits and restrictions under the law. Without a release from the patient, barring a medical or psychiatric emergency, I could not disclose PHI without a court order, not even confirming they were a client of mine (I was a therapist, now retired).

So, since I understand that the new Texas law actually prohibits government agencies, including law enforcement, from enforcing this law, it would seem that the “as required by law” exception would not apply, since there would be no investigations by law enforcement.

My question was quite specific to the limits of HIPAA in civil suits; can a judge compel a defendant in a suit, or their provider, to disclose PHI? Can a patient, or their provider, refuse to answer, citing HIPAA?

When a patient sues a doctor for malpractice, my understanding is they give up some rights and their PHI becomes part of the discovery process, but when the patient is a defendant, or their provider is, does the plaintiff, who otherwise would have no legal right to access the patient’s PHI, have the right to force the disclosure of PHI?

I would be surprised if the ACLU didn’t challenge this law based on a violation of HIPAA rights.

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Response to WillowTree (Reply #15)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 04:48 PM

25. I was being facetious.

We've had people tell us that it's "personal health information" that's protected by HIPAA.

I guess I need the tag more than I thought.

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Response to mackdaddy (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:40 PM

12. First of all, it's HIPAA, not HIPPA

And beyond that, in what way do you think this Texas law would involve HIPAA violations? Do you know what the privacy stipulations in HIPAA are?

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Response to WillowTree (Reply #12)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:42 PM

14. See my post #13

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Reply #14)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:46 PM

16. See my post #15

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Response to mackdaddy (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 03:23 PM

19. The first lawsuits filed surrounding a natural miscarriage should be countered with huge ones.

Sue all the anti-choice scumbags for billions.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #19)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 04:04 PM

21. That was going to be my question.

I've had a miscarriage once in my life decades ago. I can foresee people reporting that a woman had an abortion if some nosey neighbor knew you were pregnant and then they can see that you're not. They would have no way of knowing if it was a natural spontaneous abortion. That's what mine was termed in the paperwork the doctor filled out, though I have no idea if they still call it that.

Also, what's next for these anti-choice nutcases? Are they going to be allowed to report women who have in vitro and have frozen zygotes that they ask to be destroyed?

I'm an old broad and I am tired of us having to fight this same battle of control over our own bodies. I do believe that a lot of younger women probably took it for granted that this was all settled and they didn't ever have to worry about it any longer. This is why voting is important, and not just in presidential elections.

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Response to llmart (Reply #21)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 04:14 PM

23. +10000

This.☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️

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Response to mackdaddy (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 05:03 PM

27. Someday the women in this country

 

Someday the women in this country are going to kill all of is men in our sleep. And in my mind they’d be right to do so.

By and large American men are disgusting.

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