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Home > Privacy and Business > Medical Privacy > Exceptions to Medical Privacy > Disclosure to Law Enforcement


Disclosure to Law Enforcement

Private medical information is probably too easily disclosed to law enforcement.

If investigators are trying to learn information about the patient, disclosure of that information should occur only consistent with the protections of the Fourth Amendment.

Often, investigators access patient information in the course of pursuing health care fraud by providers or health systems. This gives investigators broad access to private information that they should not have, and it puts them in a position to convert their investigations of health care providers into fishing expeditions against patients.

Availability of medical information to law enforcement has been recognized as a detriment to treatment in the case of substance abuse, and Congress has passed a law to prevent disclosure of substance abuse treatment information.


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Comments? comments@privacilla.org (Subject: LawEnforcementDisclosure)

[updated 12/29/00]



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