Healthcare Providers Have a Duty Relative to Request to Remove Error in Record
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Healthcare Providers Have a Duty Relative to Request to Remove Error in Record

A 76-year-old woman who receives disability compensation from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs (“OWCP”) alleged an error in her medical records resulted in harm due to erroneous entries in the Problem List of her ailments. A physician-employee of the defendant hospital listed two sexually transmitted diseases. The physician later noted the entry was made in error, but the patient insisted that consistent with the defendants’ privacy policy and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) regulations, the entry must be removed and the doctor refused. She sued claiming negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation. Deciding the issue for the first time, the court held the plaintiff’s complaint sufficiently pleads defendants’ duty to adhere to a particular standard of care because the complaint puts defendants on notice she plans to use HIPAA and defendants’ own privacy policy to establish their duty to act reasonably to remove an erroneously entered diagnosis from her medical records.

BETTY LOU DEMARCO Plaintiff v CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG HOSPITAL AUTHORITY dba CAROLINAS HEALTHCARE