Congress did not intend to create a federal physician-patient privilege
in enacting HIPAA.
At the forefront of evidentiary privileges, New York codified a physician-patient privilege
in 1828 when it declared that a physician may not "disclose any information which he may have acquired in attending any patient, in a professional character, and which information was necessary to enable him to prescribe for such patient as a physician, or to do any act for [such patient].
While the proposed FRE 504 created a psychotherapist-patient privilege, it contained "no provision for a general physician-patient privilege
Maintaining the physician-patient privilege
is still the primary concern in these situations.
4] These courts reasoned, among other things, that there is an underlying duty of loyalty or a fiduciary obligation that binds the physician to the patient despite the exceptions in the physician-patient privilege
and that there is or may be some residue of confidential information that the plaintiff did not consent to disclose by filing suit.
The Regians alleged that these protections were necessary to safeguard information in the possession of her nonparty treating physicians that was not relevant to the lawsuit and, therefore, was protected by the physician-patient privilege
The list of privileges did not include a psychotherapist-patient privilege, and specifically rejected the more general physician-patient privilege
LEGAL COMMENTARY: New York was the first state to enact a physician-patient privilege
You may have to argue the issue of physician-patient privilege
regarding the other patient with the court or you may have to ask the hospital to contact him or her first in hopes he or she will waive the privilege.
The court noted that neither party cited nor had the court found, any case in its jurisdiction or elsewhere, that addressed the question regarding whether the communication of two physicians within the same medical practice can constitute a violation of the physician-patient privilege
The Supreme Court of New Hampshire was called upon to rule on whether the circumstances required that the physician-patient privilege
yield to the State's need.
The concurring judge feared that the resolution of the issue in this case brought the court one step closer to the complete abrogation of the physician-patient privilege