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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Maryland State Board of Physicians v. Eist

Patient Privacy vs. Disciplining Doctors

By Jonathan E. Montgomery
Originally published June 21, 2011

This January, Maryland's highest court ruled in Board of Physicians v. Eist, that health care practitioners must timely disclose patient medical records to Maryland's Board of Physicians pursuant to a Board subpoena, or face sanctions, even if the patient involved objects to the disclosure.

In this case, Dr. Eist, a psychiatrist, became the subject of a Board investigation after the estranged husband of one of his patients accused Dr. Eist of, among other things, overmedicating the patient. The Board demanded the patient's medical records, but Dr. Eist initially withheld the records when his patient refused to give consent to the disclosure. Dr. Eist believed that he should wait until the Board and his patient settled their privacy dispute.

The entire summary of the case can be found here.

The entire opinion can be read here.

One issue from this case stems from the psychiatrist’s choice of counsel.  Apparently, though a competent attorney, Dr. Eist’s lawyer did not seem to grasp fully how to proceed when dealing with Maryland's Board of Physicians.

One major benefit to being a PPA member is to subscribe to our Legal Consultation Plan.  For $150 per year, a member has access to three hours of time from an attorney who is also a psychologist and understands the workings of the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology.