Legal Aspects of Healthcare Administration: Allen v Wright Case – Health System Example

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"Legal Aspects of Healthcare Administration: Allen v Wright Case" is a great example of a paper on the health system. The 2005 tort reform was put in place to try and address the looming crisis that was facing the health care industry and hospitals. Generally, the health care providers were finding it extremely hard to find liability insurance (Pozgar, 2008). The General Assembly saw that the adoption of reforms would help the health care providers by improving the resolution of healthcare liabilities and promoting predictability. This would go a long way to help insurance liability service providers.

Before this legislation, Georgian law stated that the rights of a patient’ s health care information privacy would be waived automatically (Pozgar, 2008). In the HIPAA privacy enactment, the patient’ s information would not be released until the patient, in writing, gives authorization to this. Allen v Wright Case Review In this case of Ms. Ernestine Wright v Thomas Allen M. D., the plaintiff, Ms. Wright, claims negligence from Dr. Allen in a hip replacement surgery that took place in 2004. Ms. Wright’ s complaint suit was filed together with an authorization order.

This order was viewed as inadequate by Dr. Allen’ s defense team and they filed for a dismissal of the motion. The trial court denied the motion on the grounds that § 9-11-9-2 is legally preempted by HIPAA, and it poses great conflicts. This is due to the recognition by the Georgian Civil Practice Act. Even with the dismissal, they filed the case for interlocutory by the court of appeal. The court of appeal then reviewed the Allen v Wright case, accepted the review, and affirmed it.

This was done in light of an identical case that had been reviewed earlier by the court on whether § 9-11-9-2 preempts the HIPAA privacy act. The Court then granted the case certiorari (Kazmier, 2008). The Medical Association of Georgia, which was representing the physicians and the Georgian trial lawyers association, had a joint party before the Supreme Court. The defendants argued that the legislation was well aware of the HIPAA act, and that, plaintiff intending to file malpractice suits should have complied with § 9-11-9-2 in filing their suits. They claimed that this was not done in this case, and they further argued that the Georgian law itself does not provide for the proper validation of the HIPAA authorization.

The Georgian Lawyers Association, for the plaintiff, argued that the preemption issue doesn’ t need to be addressed, seeing as Georgian law does not allow for the defendant’ s lawyers to have ex parte consultations with the physicians of the plaintiff. Summary The Supreme Court by a majority vote of six to one ruled in the affirmation of the trial court’ s decision, of denying the defendants a motion to dismiss.

This came about as a result of acknowledging that the § 9-11-9-2 was legally preempted. The court did not, however, discuss the authorization of Ms. Wright in any respect thus not addressing the validation of her authorization in accordance to the § 9-11-9-2 to the HIPAA privacy act. If this was addressed, the dynamics of the case might have been different (Kazmier, 2008). Therefore, the court’ s decision may have left a loophole. The implications of this decision greatly affect the defense team’ s ex parte consultation with the treating physicians of the plaintiff.

The court made this ruling without considering the advantages of this provision. By doing so, they nullified it completely.


Kazmier, L. J. (2008). Healthcare Law. Florence: Delmar Cengage Learning.

Pozgar. D. G (2006). Legal Aspects of Healthcare Administration. Baltimore: Jones and Bartlet Learning.

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