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Was ESPN's Jason Pierre-Paul scoop a violation of HIPAA, a case of poor judgment, or both?

There was some sad news from the sports world today as several news outlets reported that New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, following an Independence Day weekend fireworks accident, had his right index finger amputated.

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The news was reportedly broken by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, even before the Giants organization had been informed.

While some speculated on the future of Pierre-Paul’s career, others were more curious just how Schefter got his information and managed to send HIPAA trending on Twitter. HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, contains language governing the confidentiality and secure handling of health care information — information like this.

https://twitter.com/fivefifths/status/618923910860410880

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Who is the guilty party? Someone at the hospital must have provided Schefter with the information that he then reported.

Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann argues that ESPN is most likely covered under the First Amendment, while the hospital faces a fine for violating HIPAA.

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One question still to be answered:

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