And it just keeps coming!

mrskjun(9)June 13, 2013

According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.

If this is true, it is no longer Dr./Patient confidentiality, but Dr./Patient/IRS, and anyone else in the government that wants a look.

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tobr24u(z6 RI)

What would they be stealing health records for?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 8:22AM
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david52_gw

The IRS seized computer servers that had revenue/tax/business information as well as some medical records.

So, in other words, if the IRS comes and takes your home computer because they believe you've committed tax fraud and the evidence is on your hard drive, you sue them because there were also pictures of your grand kids playing with puppies on the same hard drive.

IRS SUED FOR SEIZING BABY/PUPPY PHOTOS

OMG!! OMG!!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:03AM
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jerzeegirl(9)

Clutching at straws.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:17AM
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adoptedbyhounds

Nice try, Mrskjun, but as David points out, puppy photos are no different than medical records.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:18AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Those cretins! Poor puppies and babies.

My accountant has all my tax information. I keep that stuff off my computer.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:19AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I'm interested in what this HIPAA-covered entity was doing that attracted the attention of the IRS. Ripping off Medicare?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:22AM
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jodik_gw

And, here's the source, forgotten above?

Here is a link that might be useful: source

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:34AM
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david52_gw

This was in the news a few months ago - its pretty funny, really. Some un-named company thinks they can pull off tax fraud by hiding their financial records on the same servers as medical files.

Didn't work. And we'll see how long it takes the courts to throw the case out.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 11:11AM
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jomuir(z5 detroit)

well the plaintiffs better hope they do better a famous client of this atty did -Wesley Snipes.

'Before establishing his law practice in Los Angeles, California, Barnes was a law partner at The Bernhoft Law Firm. It was at Bernhoft, that Barnes served as Wesley Snipes' tax defense lawyer alongside owner and managing partner, Robert Bernhoft.[9][10] In 2008, Robert Barnes represented Mr. Snipes for conspiracy to defraud the government and filing a false claim with the government. Mr. Snipes was acquitted of tax fraud but convicted of failure to file taxes.[11][12][13][14][15][16] After the verdict, Barnes said in reference to Mr. Snipes, "He will make full amends and pay for everything."[14]'

source of course
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E._Barnes

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 1:36PM
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momj47(7A)

Then I guess you shouldn't keep tax information on the same hard drive or server as health records, because it's not going to stop the IRS from taking those machines if they suspect you've broken the law.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 3:49PM
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fouquieria(10b)

I went looking at the actual complaint document. Can someone 'splain to me why it was filed with the Superior Court of the State of California, San Diego?

Wouldn't one think it would be filed in a Federal Court?

Sumpin' smells here.

-Rono-

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 3:53PM
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adoptedbyhounds

A House committee has sent a letter to Danny Werfel at the IRS, asking for further information by June 21. Letter at link below.

The letter says the IRS search warrant appears to be limited to financial records of a single employee. Not the medical records of millions of Americans.

Stay tuned.

Here is a link that might be useful: House is investigating

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 4:11PM
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fouquieria(10b)

I was out watering today. Just came in for something to drink. Out of curiosity, thought I would check on this thread. Then I thought I'd look up this Robert Barnes character.

Here's his website: http://www.barneslawllp.com/famous-cases/

Here's two PDF variations of his "lawsuit":

http://www.scribd.com/doc/142010959/John-Doe-Company-vs-John-Does-IRS
http://docs.ismgcorp.com/files/external/IRS_medical_record_case_3_15_13.pdf

So anyway, I went looking for his "office" as listed on the lawsuit papers. It turns out 22631 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu is the small, strip mall address for a Mail Boxes, Etc.

What I found more interesting in my searching, were the literally thousands of conservative sites that popped up with this story, usually with a huge picture of Barack Obama.

IRS Agents Stole 60 Million Medical Records, Legal Complaint Alleges

Lawsuit against IRS for illegally seizing California medical records

IRS sued for improperly seizing the medical records of 10 million Americans (the Crawler)

IRS sued "theft of medical records charged"

IRS Faces Lawsuit After Stealing 60 Million Medical Records

Lawsuit: Armed IRS Agents Seized Millions of Medical Records

IRS sued for STEALING 60 million medical records

Another IRS Scandal: Lawsuit Alleges 10,000,000 Americans Medical Records Seized

And it just keeps coming!

-Ron-

This post was edited by fouquieria on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 14:49

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:00PM
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david52_gw

And the House energy commerce committee, chaired by some Republican, is investigating.

You can't make this stuff up.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:04PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I was struck by the fact the name of the HIPAA-covered entity is not named in the lawsuit. No mention of it on the sites running with the hand-wringing storyline. If this were a suit brought on behalf of a left-leaning cause, those bloggers would be all over it trying to find the name of the entity. (And absent any success, would be speculating like crazy.)

George Soros!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 3:40PM
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adoptedbyhounds

I look forward to learning more. With ten million patients and 60 million medical records exposed to snoops, the "unnamed entity" has every reason to want these actions explained in court.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 1:14PM
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jodik_gw

Those 10 million medical records look to be nothing more than speculation at this time, described as "vague class action" and "John Doe Company sued 15 John Doe IRS agents" and "attorney Robert E. Barnes declined to elaborate on the complaint's allegations, saying he will have more information "in a few months."

The story reads like a reach, in my opinion... even though I don't hold the IRS in high regard due to their frequent abuse of power and authority.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 5:33PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

I should join as an unnamed plaintiff and get rich following the settlement or awarded damages. Shucks, there is a better then 50-50 chance that my medical records are somewhere on those harddrives. I'm still awaiting judgements/awards from class action suits against several banks, a half dozen consumer products manufacturers or distributors, and even dozen food processors and as yet undiscovered flurry of other class actions against politicians, governments, post offices and aliens.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 5:54PM
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duluthinbloomz4

I don't know about getting rich, marshall. Like a bolt out of the blue without participating in a class action suit or wasting stamps on mailing stuff, I got several settlement checks from Bank of America - actually under the seal of the SEC to give one a hint it wasn't junk mail just by looking at the envelope.

That's the dog in my portfolio. I'd sell, but taking a capital loss of 3 grand a year, I can't outlive it and it would just fly away into the ether.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 6:14PM
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jodik_gw

I wouldn't hold my breath on this one, Marshallz... though, it is often a long and tiresome waiting game to find out that any actual settlement is paltry in amount.

I don't know how most class action suits go, but when it comes to suing for work related injuries and disability, and the medical bills that accompany such things, I'm all too familiar.

A rainy evening, a headache from too much sun while cutting grass, and a tired, old body on the verge of collapse... UFC is calling... or is it my pillow?

Happy Father's Day! G'night, all.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 10:40PM
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