CT: Unions Say Hartford Hospital Violated Privacy Rights

Matthew Sturdevant reports:

The unions for state employees say Hartford Hospital violated the privacy rights of union members when it wrote letters to them regarding bitter negotiations with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s largest health insurer.

The hospital wrote to patients “in an effort to use them for leverage in contentious negotiations,” the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition said Wednesday. The coalition filed a health information privacy complaint on behalf of its members with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights. The state is self-insured but uses Anthem’s network of medical providers.

The unions say Hartford Hospital acted improperly when it wrote letters to active and retired state employees because it put union members in the middle of the negotiation dispute. The unions say it is improper for the hospital to use protected health information in the context of negotiations with an insurer.

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