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Tricked into signing disclosure
Jun 11, 2012

Today I had a drug alcohol counsler manipulate me into signing a release of information. 2 minutes later she tells me how I have been doing from information she did not have the right to prior to the consent. She already had the information released to her. I have a cognitive issue which she was aware of signed by my doctor stating my cognitive issues. I am very upset she had no right to the information and the doctors office had no right to give it.

Response from Mr. Chambers

Something does sound strange there. As I understand it, she had the records before you signed a release. That really is the doctor's error since that office needed a release to send your records to her. Unless the doctor had a release signed by you it is possible they should not have released.

However, there are exceptions to the medical confidentiality laws under HIPAA, and one of those is medical personnel can release records to other medical personnel in furtherance of your treatment. Does your doctor have any ongoing connection to your counselor or is there any reason that your treatment would be advanced by your counselor getting your records?

If that is true, then a release was not needed, in which case, I wonder why the counselor even bothered to get you to sign a release. Did the release you sign give her permission to release your records on to others or did the release authorize the doctor to release the records that your counselor already had?

In either case, there may have been a breach of medical confidentiality. If you believe there was, I encourage you to seek legal assistance through a legal services agency in your area.

Good luck, Jacques



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