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Court: State Law Trumps HIPAA

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

June 8, 2011

A Michigan court case ruling could restrict the information physicians can release during legal proceedings, American Medical News reports. The decision follows a 2009 lawsuit, in which Michigan doctor Isidore Steiner alleged former colleague Marc Bonanni stole patients after leaving the practice, violating an established agreement. Steiner asked for a list of patient names Bonanni had seen at his new practice, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). But the court ruled that Michigan law, which prevents such disclosures, trumps HIPAA. A Michigan-based attorney predicts that "When entities do not want to disclose information, they're going to use this case as their response."
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