NY officials recently accused a NY physician’s private practice of a connection with a Hepatitis C outbreak in the area. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has confirmed it sent a notice to the practice, stating the agency is in the midst of investigating “several acute hep-C cases linked to the private practice.” The agency urged those who received treatment at the facility involving needles or sharp instruments to get tested for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV. The agency sent letters to anyone who went to the facility between 2015 and 2019. Examples of procedures that warrant getting tested included blood glucose testing, injections and infusions.
What led to the allegations?
The Health Department requires medical professionals to report hep-C and other communicable diseases. A representative for the agency states a review of reports found a possible link between outbreaks and the private practice. This potential link led to the notification and an additional investigation.
How did the agency find patients?
The agency went through billing information and sent out mailings to almost 3,000 former patients.
What does this mean for the physician and her private practice?
Allegations of this nature can have a catastrophic effect, even if they turn out to be unsubstantiated. The Health Department has stated that its disease surveillance team is “standard practice.” Regardless, this investigation has caused the physician to shut down her practice.
Physicians that receive notification of similar investigations are wise to act promptly to defend their interests. An attorney experienced in these and other legal issues physicians face can review your situation and discuss your options.