In Mississippi: personal health information is not protected from police searching without warrant ?

Brandon denies police violated HIPAA

The city of Brandon denied allegations that one of its police investigators violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act by accessing a man’s prescription history through a state database, according to court records filed Monday.

A lawsuit filed in federal court last month alleges Brandon Police Department Investigator Chris Bunch accessed Brandon Maddox’s prescription history without probable cause or a court order. Brandon’s response to the lawsuit, which names the city, Chief William Thompson and Bunch as defendants, maintains the department obtained the information lawfully — with probable cause and without violating HIPAA.

However, the lawsuit argues the Board of Pharmacy’s Mississippi Prescription Monitoring Program, which monitors controlled substance prescriptions, violates the Constitution and individuals’ right to privacy by allowing law enforcement officials and licensing boards access without a court order.

“My opinion is Mississippi law … does not comply with United States constitutional requirements as far as them being able to access privileged medical information,” said Donald Boykin, who is representing Maddox in the lawsuit. “In other words, I think the Constitution protects people from unreasonable search and seizure, and in this case, just to go online and not have a court order based on probable cause doesn’t satisfy constitutional requirements.”

Last January, Maddox received a prescription for pain medication from an emergency room doctor, who told him to visit his own physician the next day if he needed more medication. The next day, Dr. Kurt Johnson wrote Maddox a prescription for oxycodone.

About six months later, Bunch used the Prescription Monitoring Program to view Maddox’s prescription history. He spoke with Johnson, who told the investigator he hadn’t known about Maddox’s other prescription at the time.

Maddox was arrested on a prescription fraud charge that was later remanded for lack of evidence, court records show. After Maddox’s arrest, Johnson and his nurse practitioner said in writing that they’d known that Maddox had received a prescription the day before his visit to their office.

The complaint alleges Thompson and Bunch received the statements but said they’d already submitted the case to District Attorney Michael Guest for presentation to a grand jury. The city, however, denies Brandon Police Department received the letters.

“As to why they’re denying that, I don’t know,” Boykin said. “Not only did I sent the letter to them, I discussed that with their city prosecutor. I talked to him and the chief of police, and let them both know about the incorrect information.

“And they both said, ‘It’s out of our hands. It’s already gone to the DA’s office. We can’t do anything about it.’”

The complaint also alleges Johnson gave Bunch records regarding Maddox’s treatment, but the city denies that claim, court records show. Boykin said Bunch showed a treatment-related document to Maddox during his investigation, but it’s unclear how the Brandon Police Department obtained it.

Thompson would not respond to questions about the lawsuit, and Brandon Mayor Butch Lee and Mark Fijman, an attorney representing the city, would not comment, citing policy to not discuss pending litigation.

4 Responses

  1. Obama has pushed us into a nanny, socialist government. Our privacy is no more. The appealiate court of Ky allowed the state Workers Compensation board to reopen my case that was settled ,as is as settled With Prejudice. Which means neither side can reopen. It’s considered a landmark case because it’s the first time it’s ever been done. An sent it back to the workers compensation board with orders to honor the settlement an dismissed all decisions made by the ALJ. And I received a letter from the state workers compensation board stating that they affirmed the judge’s original ruling an a book explaining how they could do what they please an nothing I could do. I’ve been fighting the state of Ky since March of 2012 with help from the AFL-CIO.
    After 4yrs of fighting this socialist government, my preseverance is starting to pay off. Steve Ariens you can go to top trending workers compensation topics or go to POHL& page 15 Basin vs Howard. An I was contacted by a reporter from the Associated Press doing a story on the Eric Conn fiasco an would like to interview me. Omg the Associated Press is world wide. After a 45 min phone call, she’s got to finish the Conn story and super excited to do a story on the way the state has done me. I have over 12 lbs of documents that I’m making copies of for her to study an if her editor agrees we will be doing a story on how unconstitutional it is the way the state has allowed this to happen.
    Super excited to get this story out because businesses are using it to give you what you want only to be able to reopen based on my case. Associated Press ,people this is huge every news outlet in the world reads the associated press so I’ve got to clear my mind an get this evidence in their hands. There’s no doubt in my mind they’ll want to do a story on how bad it has been allowed to get for injured workers an all others suffering from chronic pain an how they’ve been left to suffer due to the law changes about health care to protect us an accomplished making it impossible to get proper pain care. But heroin use has tripled. People in enough pain will do anything for relief, even heroin. This threatening Drs to worry about losing their practice an license, basically causing Drs to stop treating chronic pain patients due to their fear of the DEA. Hopefully if I do this proper the Associated Press will be read by every news outlet in the world. Wish me luck. They happened across one of my posts an started following me . I must be doing something wright. I will not give up, right is might an my 4yr battle has finally got some recognition in how unconstitutional all this is but the fight continues an I will win.

  2. HIPPA is bullshit. Privacy?How can it protect privacy when the police can still have access to your records?

  3. Same deal in Alabama. PDMP data is NOT considered part of the medical record, CANNOT be viewed by the patient, the patient has NO way to know if their data is correct OR who has accessed it. Law enforcement CAN view YOUR data …. all they need to do is say that it is for an active investigation. Communist state.

  4. Think about this: At some point in the future, will the PDMPs keep track of every prescription you’re given, from birth to death, monitoring anyone who receives pain medication at some time in their lives? Wouldn’t this eventually include almost every person in the country?

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