HIPAA violation? Medical group alerts authorities when patient presents false ID

A patient visited Northeast Women's Healthcare in Kingwood, Texas, for a check-up and follow-up visit on an abdominal cyst. The patient, Blanca Borrego, presented false identification. The medical group informed law enforcement, and Ms. Borrego was eventually led out of the office in handcuffs, according to a Houston Press report.

Ms. Borrego is an undocumented immigrant. She presented a fake driver's license at the medical group's office, according to the report.

HIPAA allows healthcare providers to reach out to law enforcement in certain cases, such as a patients threatening harm to themselves or others, but it is less clear if informing authorities of an undocumented immigrant would be considered an exemption to HIPAA.

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