A program used to crack down on pill mills is now being blamed for leaking personal medical information.
“People should be concerned,” said Maria Kayanan.
The American Civil Liberties Union says the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program disclosed more than 3,300 Floridians’ medical information to third parties. The information was requested by Seminole County, and shared with attorneys in six criminal cases in Volusia County. The attorney’s received confidential prescription information not related to the cases.
The Department of Health, which is responsible for maintaining the database, denied multiple requests for an on-camera interview talking about what happened.
In an email state health officials say: “a law enforcement agency has indirect access to information maintained in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.” The A-C-L-U disagrees and says it violates HIPAA laws.
”We want to know how information of private confidential medical information made it from what was presumed to be a safe database.”
The program, up and running in late 2011, was once ridiculed by Governor Scott…
”I don’t support the database. I believe it’s an invasion of privacy,” said Gov. Rick Scott.
Now he’s backing it to the tune of 500,000 dollars for the next fiscal year. The A-C-L-U says they hope this leak will lead to the closure of the program.
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office denied a request for an interview, but say they are reviewing the case.