Schefter says he “could and should have done more” before posting JPP medical records

Mike Florio writes that ESPN’s Adam Schefter has commented on the controversy over his tweeting a hospital medical record concerning Jason Pierre-Paul:

The four-letter network issued a seven-word statement defending the move on Wednesday night, and Schefter previously said nothing about the situation. He has now addressed the matter with Richard Deitsch of SI.com.

“I know news organizations are not governed by HIPAA laws, but in hindsight I could and should have done even more here due to the sensitivity of the situation,” Schefter told Deitsch. “We’ve got a great group of editors and production staff, and I could have leaned on them even more.”

The contrition is admirable, but the rest of the article doesn’t convey a sense that Schefter would have done things differently even with the benefit of ESPN’s editors and production staff.

“It didn’t look to me as if there was anything else in there that could be considered sensitive,” Schefter said. “NFL reporters report on all kinds of medical information on a daily basis. That’s part of the job. The only difference here was that there was a photo.”

Schefter also explained that the photo was delivered to him unsolicited, which tends to support the theory that the leak came from Pierre-Paul’s camp and not from a hospital employee in Miami, who presumably would have had no way to quickly reach Schefter.

Read more on NBC Sports.

Note: It seems that information about another patient was also included in the record that made its way to the reporter and Twitter. Under those circumstances, it appears that there has definitely been a HIPAA breach, although whether it was an intentional leak by an employee or someone stealing a copy of the record (such as by using a cellphone to take an image of a record) remains to be determined.

 

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