An undocumented immigrant in Houston is arrested during a routine visit to the doctor’s office. the question now is did medical personnel violate doctor-patient confidentiality laws, and could a similar situation happen here, in south Texas?
“My first fear when I heard this, was that I hope people understand that as far as here in the Valley, I haven’t heard of anybody doing that to somebody here.”
And if it did happen here, Hugo Pina–of Garcia, Ramirez and Pina–says the first thing to do–is contact an attorney.
“Most attorneys that i know would be willing to let them know what we think they should do in that type of situation.”
In 44-year-old Blanca Borrego’s situation–the question now is did medical personnel violate doctor-patient confidentiality by turning her over to police.
“In this woman’s situation, she’s still here and she’s fighting the case. And for all intensive purposes, I think she’s got a pretty good case to fight.”
The case will most likely be based on the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which among other conditions requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information.
“Whether it’s legal or not, I think most people would agree it was inappropriate.”
According to the American Medical Association, failure to comply with HIPAA can result in civil and criminal penalties, with fines reaching up to $1.5 million.