Lawyer defends woman who received confidential medical info on fax machine

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — When Andrea Scarborough started getting a barrage of faxes she never thought it would lead to her being called a criminal.

“What you did is a crime,” is what Scarborough heard when she went to the Doctor Today walk-in clinic in Lakeland Tuesday.

Scarborough was returning medical documents that were faxed to her in error. The staff at Doctor Today printed Scarborough’s phone number at their fax number on their prescription pads. That led to the private medical information of several patients being sent to her home fax machine.

“You don’t have any authority to ask me. You are a criminal you will pay the price for that, each HIPAA violation,” said Dr. Jeentendra Issar owner of Doctor Today in Lakeland.

But attorney, doctor and medical ethicist Jay Wolfson isn’t buying the claims that Scarborough did anything wrong.

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“She is not a party that is covered by HIPAA. She’s not a provider of care; she’s not an insurance company. She’s certainly not a criminal. They have been negligent at least and it’s up to the federal government and the state attorney general to determine whether or not there has been a criminal act,” said Wolfson.

“Afterwards what’s essentially in the process of becoming is something close to whistleblower. Because she now has this evidence that says, ‘Look at all I’ve tried to do to help you take care of your patients’, ” said Wolfson.

But Dr. Issar doesn’t think that way and told Scarborough in front of News Channel 8 cameras that she was guilty. The encounter rattled Scarborough.

“How can I be the criminal when these things are showing up at my house, unauthorized at my house? I’m still shaking a bit because that was so over the top as far as yelling at me like I’ve done something major wrong here, and I don’t see that I have,” said Scarborough.

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