Keller Rohrback and ACLU of Washington Score Victory for Health Care Privacy
Yesterday, in an important case brought by Keller Rohrback LLP and the ACLU of Washington, the Washington Court of Appeals reaffirmed the confidentiality of patients’ health care information. Washington law prohibits state government from disclosing medical records that are associated with an identifiable patient. In this case, however, a member of public asked the state Department of Corrections to hand over hundreds of extraordinarily sensitive psychological examinations of low-level offenders, going all the way back to 1990. As evidence submitted by Keller Rohrback and the ACLU established, releasing these examinations would not only increase the offenders’ risk of re-offense by giving them less to lose, but, even more disturbingly, would also have identified victims of the offenses, thereby retraumatizing them. The Court of Appeals agreed with Keller Rohrback and the ACLU that the psychological examinations are confidential health care information and cannot be disclosed to the general public.
Keller Rohrback attorney Benjamin Gould briefed and argued this appeal, with the help of Prachi Dave of the ACLU of Washington.