We read about it in the New York Post

Modern Healthcare - - Outliers -

And now we come to a tale that in­volves a sus­pected wife-killer, an al­leged liver trans­plant at New York-Pres­by­te­rian Hos­pi­tal, the New York Post and HIPAA pri­vacy rules. Oh, and a great news­pa­per correction. Where to start?

It seems the Post breath­lessly re­ported July 26 that one Johnny Con­cep­cion of the Bronx—who had al­legedly fa­tally stabbed his wife on July 5, con­fessed via text mes­sage and then taken rat poi­son—had swiftly re­ceived a liver trans­plant at New York-Pres­by­te­rian. All un­der one of the Post’s trade­mark head­lines: “Thug’s op is liver worst”

Nat­u­rally, as you fans of the Health In­surance Porta­bil­ity and Ac­count­abil­ity Act can guess, the hos­pi­tal de­clined to com­ment on the case, cit­ing pa­tient pri­vacy.

Per­haps the Post should have de­clined to pub­lish the story in the first place, be­cause on July 28 came a correction. It seems New York-Pres­by­te­rian had is­sued a state­ment say­ing no such trans­plant had tran­spired.

And so the Post correction, which read in part: “Prior to pub­lish­ing the story, the Post sought of­fi­cial re­sponse from New York-Pres­by­te­rian. The Post was de­nied in­for­ma­tion by the hos­pi­tal, which stated it could not dis­cuss in­di­vid­ual cases be­cause it would be in breach of the Health In­for­ma­tion Pri­vacy Act (HIPA). Cu­ri­ously, the hos­pi­tal now sees it­self free to pub­licly dis­cuss Con­cep­cion’s case.”

We sense some an­noy­ance on the Post’s part. And a weak grasp of the name of the law it’s cit­ing. We ea­gerly await that correction.

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