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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Psychiatrist faces federal charges in HIPAA case

By Tim McGlone
The Virginian-Pilot

A psychiatrist faces trial in federal court on charges of illegally disclosing medical information of a Virginia state trooper who had been in his care after being held hostage and raped over three nights.

Prosecutors said this could be the first prosecution nationwide of a physician for violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, which went into effect in 2003. The act prohibits disclosure of health records unless the patient gives consent.

Dr. Kaye
Jury selection and testimony began Tuesday in U.S. District Court, where Dr. Richard Alan Kaye, the former medical director of psychiatry at Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk, faces three counts of wrongfully disclosing an individual's health information.
Kaye was working at Obici in 2007 when the female trooper came to him for treatment. Kaye diagnosed her with post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from the attack in her home several months earlier.

But the trooper wasn't happy with the way Kaye was treating her and left after 16 days. She filed a complaint with the hospital and, according to federal prosecutors, he lost his job as a result. The Virginian-Pilot does not disclose the identity of rape victims.

The entire story can be read here.