In “Ex Parte Talks Allowed Under Georgia Law For Counsel, Doctors Preempted by HIPAA” (password required), the United States Law Week discusses in detail Moreland v. Austin, Georgia Sup. Ct. No. S08G0498, a November 3, 2008 decision holding that defense attorneys who wish to engage in ex parte communications with plaintiffs’ treating physicians must comply with HIPAA privacy rules. Since HIPAA affords more patient privacy than a Georgia law that permitted ex parte contact once a plaintiff put his or her medical condition at issue, the Georgia law was preempted.
Preemption giveth, and preemption taketh away.