Is Dr. Phil Soon to be Dr. "Felon"?

Dr. Phil may be in hot water over his visit to Britney Spears that made national headlines. TMZ is reporting that a complaint has been issued by the popular television house on the grounds that he was practicing without a psychology without a license. Dr. Phil has never been licensed to practice in California, and he retired his Texas license in 2006. The complaint lodged to the Psychology Board also says that by discussing her condition with the media he violated HIPAA laws.

If the board rules that he, in fact, practiced without a license, it could mean that Dr. Phil may have a title that he wasn't looking for: Convicted felon.

Unless you want your life to go down the drain, it would be wise that you stay away from Ms Spears. Unless, of course, you are cold-hearted like her ex Kevin Federline and only are out for her millions.


HIPAA only applies to covered entities - it would need to look at Cedars, who uses EPIC for patient's info and has/uses capabilities for psuedo names, so.... long story longer - it's her family that more or less called him in, and probably provided him with the room #.

However, if he was privy to any of her clinical information that's a problem; one for him and potentially Cedars.

The question seems to be was he her doctor, consulting, providing clinical oversight in anyway or just a loud mouthed family friend.

My guess is the later.

Right, HIPAA ONLY applies to covered entities...that's why a front office desk clerk, a registered busness owner got federal prison and probation time...becasue HIPAA only appluies to covered entities. go and look at the latest convictions, Cleveland Clinic...


The disparity is because HHS and the DOJ seem to differ in their opinions of how the civil and criminal penalties should be applied. The courts will need to determine if the sentences applied so far will stand, since they clearly don't fall within the letter of the law known as HIPAA...

As a nurse practitioner I find the lack of knowledge around HIPAA disturbing. HIPAA has no private right of action -- you can not sue anyone for violating HIPAA.

There have only been three criminal convictions of HIPAA, each about three years a part. So on average there is a HIPAA prosecution once every three uears or so. Not much of a deterent.

The proposed National health Information Network (NHIN) will link all hospitals to 100 Million medical records. No privacy or security has been built into the system. It almost ignore HIPAA.

Barb Clark

As an RN, I find incomplete knowledge about HIPAA as disturbing as lack of knowledge.

There is no federal right of action - a person cannot sue for HIPAA violations under federal law, but various states allow suits to be filed under state law. Very few criminal cases are filed because it is extremely hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the offender violated HIPPAA. Civil law has a lower burden of proof and is thus an easier case to make.