Brad Phillips on Balancing Patient Care and Privacy Under California Law

The advent of electronic medical records has improved patient care, but it has also created additional privacy concerns and exposed healthcare providers to increased liability should the confidentiality of patients’ records be compromised, writes Munger, Tolles & Olson’s Bradley S. Phillips in a Bloomberg BNA Privacy and Security Law Report article published on Jan. 22, 2016.

In “Balancing Patient Care and Patient Privacy Under California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act,” Mr. Phillips analyzes California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) and discusses the significance to healthcare providers of recent Court of Appeal rulings under CMIA, including Regents of the University of California v. Superior Court

“The requirement that CMIA plaintiffs prove that their medical information has actually been viewed by an unauthorized person is potent protection for health-care providers,” Mr. Phillips writes. “Equally important, is the requirement that CMIA plaintiffs prove that the healthcare provider was not merely negligent, but engaged in some affirmative conduct leading to ‘release’ of confidential information to an unauthorized party.”

Mr. Phillips is a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office whose practice focuses on complex civil litigation in the trial and appellate courts. He has represented clients in a wide range of practice areas including privacy. Along with his Munger Tolles colleague Bryan H. Heckenlively, he recently obtained a jury verdict for The Regents of the University of California after the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health System was accused of breaching a woman’s medical privacy by negligently releasing her medical records.