And now we come to a tale that involves a suspected wife-killer, an alleged liver transplant at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the New York Post and HIPAA privacy rules. Oh, and a great newspaper correction. Where to start?
It seems the Post breathlessly reported July 26 that one Johnny Concepcion of the Bronx—who had allegedly fatally stabbed his wife on July 5, confessed via text message and then taken rat poison—had swiftly received a liver transplant at New York-Presbyterian. All under one of the Post’s trademark headlines: “Thug’s op is liver worst”
Naturally, as you fans of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act can guess, the hospital declined to comment on the case, citing patient privacy.
Perhaps the Post should have declined to publish the story in the first place, because on July 28 came a correction. It seems New York-Presbyterian had issued a statement saying no such transplant had transpired.
And so the Post correction, which read in part: “Prior to publishing the story, the Post sought official response from New York-Presbyterian. The Post was denied information by the hospital, which stated it could not discuss individual cases because it would be in breach of the Health Information Privacy Act (HIPA). Curiously, the hospital now sees itself free to publicly discuss Concepcion’s case.”
We sense some annoyance on the Post’s part. And a weak grasp of the name of the law it’s citing. We eagerly await that correction.