Cana stateviolate the federal Health Information Privacy Act by mandating that a person to attend state/federally funded AA meetings?

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Cana stateviolate the federal Health Information Privacy Act by mandating that a person to attend state/federally funded AA meetings?

The state says a person must attend “group therapy” for alcoholism which is defined as a disease, instead of allowing a person to attend private counseling. When I spoke with the MI DLAD they stated “our program” (AA). In this country we have a right to choose our own health care and the right to protect our personal information from the general public. We should not be mandated to attend a state and federally funded program. The person involved already moved past their legal obligations for their offense and shouldn’t have to subject themselves to a group of former alcoholics.

Asked on January 10, 2011 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

HIPAA - or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - relates to what is known as a "covered entity" under the law,  A violation of the act will look to see if you are a covered entity.  A covered entity in under the law is a health care provider that conducts certain transactions in electronic form (called here a "covered health care provider"), a health care clearinghouse, a health plan. The act was enacted in the hopes of keeping medical records safe and social security numbers as well.  I think that your issue here deals more with a right to privacy rather than a violation of HIPAA.  You need to consult with an attorney in your area and bring with you the paperwork you speak of for that person to read.  Also bring any employment contracts you may have signed.


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