Q: Does HIPAA apply to veterinary medicine in the state of Georgia?
A friend of a client asked about the client's dog's health condition. A receptionist gave the friend information regarding the dog's health, however the only information given was the diagnosis of the dog's health condition. The client was unhappy that her dog's diagnosis was given to her friend without her permission. Is this a HIPAA violation that the receptionist could be held liable for?
A: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) that governs privacy when it comes to human medical care does not apply to veterinary patients. However, Georgia has a statute on point, O.C.G.A. 24-12-31(a) which provides [n]o veterinarian licensed under Chapter 50 of Title 43 shall be required to disclose any information concerning the veterinarian's care of an animal except on written authorization or other waiver by the veterinarian's client or on appropriate court order or subpoena." * * *
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