Provided by: Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
March 21, 2019
Is it ok for me to respond to a negative review online? My patient got it wrong.
Thanks, Dr. J
Do not, I repeat, do not, give in to the urge to engage online in a public forum. Regardless of what your patient has posted, the patient has not consented (likely) to your use of their medical information in a public forum. A fairly recent case (October 2018) is a good example of potential exposure - https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/compliance-enforcement/agreements/allergyassociates/index.html
In October 2018, OCR settled with Allergy Associates, a health care practice that specializes in treating individuals with allergies, for $125,000. In February 2015, a patient of Allergy Associates contacted a local television station to speak about a dispute that had occurred between the patient and an Allergy Associates’ doctor. OCR’s investigation found that the reporter subsequently contacted the doctor for comment and the doctor impermissibly disclosed the patient’s PHI to the reporter.Second guessing a late night retort to a patient? Good! Do not hit send; wait til morning and make sure to have the language vetted (or forgotten).