Medicine & the Law - LawCall

According to HIPPA laws, the answer to that question is, no. Now, Michael Feinberg is suing his local CVS pharmacy for sharing private information with his wife.

Feinberg’s lawsuit claims that he specifically instructed the pharmacy not to file his Viagra prescription with his insurance company. He told them that he would pay out of pocket when he picked up the refill.

Several days later, when his wife called the pharmacy to inquire about her own prescription, a CVS employee also, allegedly, asked her about her husband’s Viagra medication.

The suit claims that CVS violated the federal Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act by engaging in this conversation with Mrs. Feinberg. Feinberg maintains that his marriage has “broken down” but gives no specific details as to how.

Under HIPPA laws, a pharmacy may not discuss personal patient information with anyone unless given written permission to do so; not even a spouse. Feinberg says he never gave the pharmacy such permission.

The lawsuit further states that the pharmacy “improperly informed” his wife that the Viagra prescription would not be covered by their insurance.

The lawsuit, filed for negligence, is seeking unspecified damages. Feinberg claims in the suit that his wife had no right to know about the prescription. He says that the lawsuit has left him suffering severe mental injury and emotional harm.

Feinberg’s prescription for the erectile-dysfunction drug was for eight pills and five refills. CVS has not commented on the lawsuit except to say that they put the highest value on patient privacy.

Do you think Michael Feinberg has a case?

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