If areceptionist from a dentist’s office used my son’s file toobtain my address for her personal needs, is this a violation ofHIPPA or privacy laws?

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If areceptionist from a dentist’s office used my son’s file toobtain my address for her personal needs, is this a violation ofHIPPA or privacy laws?

The receptionist and I are going to small claims court because I slipped and broke her taillight. I did leave her my name and phone number, but I did not give her my address. A day or two later I received a registered letter from her. Then I was served a small claims summons. I do not think she is allowed to use any information from my son’s medical file, including my address without my permission or a court order.

Asked on December 22, 2010 under Personal Injury, Oregon

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It may be a violation of privacy rights or a breach of a duty but I do not believe that it is a breach of HIPPA or a violation thereof.  Violating HIPPA requires that there be some type of transmittal of the health information of your son that is protected under the law without a valid release.  No health information about your son was taken or used in any way, shape or form here.  It was personal information as to where he lives.  I would, though, file a complaint with her employer and see what happens. Her behaviour was unprofessional to say the least and her emplyer should be aware of what went on.  Good luck to yuo.


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