My doctor sent a prescription to a pharmacist his clinic had a relationship with. I didn't approve this transaction. Is it legal for him to share my prescription with a pharmacist I didn't approve? I gave him the name of the pharmacist I wanted to use, and they disregarded that. Is this a violation of HIPAA?

1 Answer 1


It is not a violation. The privacy rule requires that your personal medical information be kept "private", but your consent is not required for another health care provider to process PMI. For example, your consent is not required to send samples to a particular lab for analysis, your consent is not required for the doctor to consult with a specialist. The primary health care provider can disclose information to a business associate, who is bound by the same privacy rule, the result being that your PMI cannot be "generally published" because disclosures are only allowed to those who are bound by the privacy rule (or, to whom disclosure has been authorized by the patient, e.g. to a relative).

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    The specific rule is 45 CFR 164.506(c)(2). The pharmacy is considered a "covered entity" under HIPAA, so it would be disclosure between covered entities. A "business associate" means something specific in HIPAA language and has different requirements (a business associate agreement, BAA).
    – user71659
    Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 23:45
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    The question in the title ("does HIPAA protect [...]") and the questions in the body ("is it legal to [...]" and "is this a violation [...]") are worded contradicting. While the reader can deduce that "it is not" refers to the violation, perhaps it can be clarified more.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 2:14
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    @AndrewT. It's only contradictory if you think "protect" refers to the doctor rather than the patient. I think the OP meant "protect the patient against the doctor ...". Anyway, you comment should be applied to the question, not the answer.
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 14:43

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