A Long Island man is suing CVS after his wife learned through the pharmacy there that he had a Viagra prescription. He claims the revelation not only violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act but also caused “severe mental injury.”
Michael Feinberg said in the lawsuit filed in Nassau Supreme Court that his "marriage has broken down" after a chatty employee at the drugstore reportedly told his wife about the prescription, the New York Post reported.
HIPAA is a federal law to protect patients' medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, according to MedicineNet.com.
While declining to speak about the lawsuit, CVS spokesman Gary Serby told HuffPost that patients’ privacy is important to them.
Feinberg took his erectile-dysfunction drug prescription with five refills to the Merrick Road CVS in Long Island last year with instructions that it not be placed on his insurance and that he would pay for them out of pocket, the Post said according to the lawsuit.
The pharmacy did just that, but a CVS employee reportedly let the cat out of the bag when Feinberg's wife called the same CVS about her own prescription, the lawsuit said.
The CVS employee "without solicitation, improperly informed [Feinberg's] wife that [Feinberg's] 'prescription for Viagra was not being covered by insurance,'" the lawsuit said. wrote.
The lawsuit charges that Feinberg's prescription information was covered under HIPAA and should have never been disclosed to his wife, which he described in the court document as causing "genuine, severe mental injury and emotional harm."
"We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that we provide medications to the correct patient," CVS spokesman Serby said in a statement. "We also place the highest priority on protecting the privacy of those we serve, and we take our responsibility to safeguard confidential information very seriously."
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