Shifty Eyed Klein rides again

So Klein calls up TMZ live to proclaim that Michael Jackson was gay and Klein’s employee (son???) was the love of his life. Ok Klein, now you’ve got everyone’s attention. Fan or non-fan, who didn’t get wind of this one? It’s tailor made for gossip.

I found this article which spawned this post,

http://www.salon.com/news/environment/vital_signs/2009/07/13/dr_arnold_klein

Well seems Klein has a small problem. He has violated HIPAA laws…. not once, not twice, not even recently, but many times over the course of the past 10 months. Seems every single time he has gone media whoring, Klein has violated this law.

Klein began by revealing personal details about his friendship with the singer. To my surprise, he then divulged facts about Jackson that only a physician knows about a patient. In describing his first meeting with Jackson, Klein noted how the singer had “a butterfly rash and he also had severe crusting you could see on the anterior portion of his scalp.” He subsequently “did a biopsy” on Jackson and diagnosed him with Lupus, an autoimmune disorder that causes those and other symptoms.

Klein went on to reveal many other details, like how he was “rebuilding” Jackson’s face before his comeback concert. On the subject of drug use, Klein continued to chat up the audience. He admitted to providing Jackson with Demerol to sedate him and stated that, contrary to reports, Jackson was not “riddled with needle marks” (though Klein told King he never examined his entire body). Perhaps most revealingly, Klein, as if he had Jackson’s chart in front of him, dished about the singer’s past medical history. “Michael, at one time, had an addiction,” he said. “And he went to England and he withdrew that addiction at a secure setting, where he went off of drugs altogether. And what I told Michael when I met him in this present situation when I was seeing him, that I had to keep reducing the dosage of what he was on, because he came to me with a huge tolerance level.”

This is a problem for Klein because he has revealed intimate medical details on one of his patients.  The HIPAA law expressly prohibits this, explained here:

Basically, the law forbids medical professionals from disclosing health information unless a patient provides consent to do so. Among other things, HIPAA is the reason that your doctor can’t fax a letter to you or transfer your records to another doctor without your filling out permission forms. It’s the reason the mother of a teenage patient of mine, a nurse, was disciplined when she looked at the medical records of her own son. It’s also the reason you’ll never see me, or any other physician, reveal the identities of our patients — without their consent — when we discuss or write about them.

Klein could face sanctions, fines, and disciplinary proceedings as a medical professional for violating this law. And Klein is of course aware of this law and the line he has crossed as exposed here in this statement released by his lawyers shortly following 6-25-09:

“Dr. Klein is aware of media reports connecting him to Michael Jackson. Because of patient confidentiality, Dr. Klein will make no statement on any reports or allegations. Out of respect for his patients and adherence to federal HIPAA regulations, Dr. Klein asks that the media not contact him or his patients, nor interfere with their medical treatments. Like millions of Michael’s fans around the world, Dr. Klein is saddened by Michael’s death and extends his condolences to the family.”

Following this statement, Klein set off on the talk show circuit.

What makes this situation truly odd is this. Klein touts himself “dermatologist to the stars”. By “betraying” Michael, Klein has committed virtual career suicide. Tell me what celebrity wants to continue to be a patient of shifty eyed, loose lips Klein, now that he is acting as the tabloid source for all things juicy following the “death” of one of his high profile clients? Call me crazy but I don’t see a lot of Hollywood’s A list signing up to be the next source for fodder.

If this was for real, Klein’s office would be instantly transformed into a ghost town with nothing on the book. Suddenly this man should be experiencing a whole lot of free time for his willful sharing of personal information. Why in the world would Klein DO this?

Really the whole thing makes no sense UNLESS Klein is covered under one of the follwoing two loopholes in this law.

  1. Klein is telling LIES, which does not violate the HIPAA law because the information is not accurate, or
  2. Michael gave Klein consent to speak publically about his medical conditions

The author of the referenced article closed with this statement:

At the same time, said Phillips, it’s possible that Jackson may have given Klein permission to discuss his PHI, or private health information, in public. In that case, Phillips [Stephen K. Phillips, a healthcare attorney in San Francisco] said, “you haven’t violated the law by doing so, unless and until that authorization is withdrawn.” I tried to contact Klein to clarify these important points several times, but never received a response. His attorney didn’t get back to me either.

So Klein could be straight up lying… and free and clear under the law… but playing a very dangerous game with his career, or Michael is directing him to talk. Bottom line,  when you look at the law, and the facts, Klein is good for the hoax.

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2 Responses to “Shifty Eyed Klein rides again”

  1. ragdoll Says:

    The headline is hilarious!
    And your reasoning is 100% plausible. No questions, no additions
    – apart from “Hey-Ho Silver”! ;D

  2. Darling Dear Says:

    I believe Lyin’ Klein is a registered DRUG DEALER. He has injected Michael Jackson with more drugs (for money, isn’t that what a drug dealer is?) than you can shake a stick at!! I’ve seen the news clips of MJ coming out of HIS office, somewhat unsurefooted! It’s almost as if HE was trying to kill him. Ain’t no secret he was and still is very jealous of MJ. He’s a professional man, no need for the hateration. But then again, MJ had more money than
    God……..

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