Readers here yesterday will recall the first half of the story of Julie, the pseudonym of a Boston-area lawyer who spoke at a healthcare privacy conference in Washington this month.
Julie said she began psychotherapy sessions in 2002. At the time, she was assured records of those sessions would be kept private.
But Julie said she learned in 2008 that a primary-care physician she was seeing for a stomachache had read notes from her years of psychotherapy.
Here's the rest of her story:
Julie said she first appealed to authorities at the big-name healthcare organization where she received care, seeking what she thought would be a quick fix: segregation of her therapist's notes from the rest of her records.
"There is supposed to be protection for what's called psychotherapy notes," she said. "Those are not allowed to be in the record."
Instead, someone at the big-name healthcare organization blithely told her it had "interpreted that what was in my record were not psychotherapy notes; those were psychiatric records. They said they were not going to segregate psychiatric records. It's a disservice to their patients."