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Buffalo Medical Group probes reported patient privacy violations

Officials with Buffalo Medical Group are conducting an internal investigation into whether a licensed practical nurse who works for the practice disclosed the names and medical conditions of an unknown number of patients several years ago.

That allegation was made in an April 10 letter mailed to The Buffalo News and other media outlets and to the patients whose confidentiality – it is claimed – was breached. The copy sent to The News included the name and address of a Town of Tonawanda man.

The letter, purportedly written by three Buffalo Medical Group employees, said several staffers overheard the LPN’s conversations with her then-boyfriend. After the nurse broke up with her boyfriend in August 2015, according to the letter, the ex-boyfriend notified a doctor in the group’s dermatology clinic of this breach of the patients’ confidentiality, but nothing was done, the letter states. About a week later, a second letter was sent to the same doctor, and again nothing was done, according to the letter, which is unsigned.

“Buffalo Medical Group administration has also received this correspondence and is presently conducting our own internal investigation to determine the credibility of its content and what, if any, appropriate action needs to be taken,” the group said in a statement to news organizations. “We have reason to believe that this letter did not come from our staff and would further advise that members of the media proceed cautiously.”