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Court upholds ruling that hospital can’t be considered a consumer reporting agency

The court dismissed a proposed FCRA class action against Advocate Health and Hospitals Corp., citing the fact that the healthcare provider does not regularly engage in the practice of disseminating consumer information to third parties.

According to Law360.com, Advocate, the largest hospital system in Illinois, was accused of violating the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act after the personal information and health records of four million patients were compromised after the theft of four computers from an unlocked room at a hospital.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the lower court’s ruling, stating that Advocate did not willingly provide the stolen patient information, and, furthermore, that the hospital does not get paid for to amass information on patients, but rather it collects that information to send to insurers and government agencies in order to get paid. Thus, the health system could not be considered a consumer reporting agency under the FCRA as it does not engage the practice of compiling information for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties.

Source: Law360.com, 8/10/2015

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