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$120,000 in legal fees against psychologist who gave patient mental health records to firm doing collections for him is upheld

Doug Waldron,

An appellate court in New Jersey upheld, in a May 29 ruling, a suspension and massive legal fees imposed on a psychologist for exposing confidential patient records to a collections firm he used against patients with past-due bills.

The case began when the New Jersey Attorney General's office filed a complaint alleging that psychologist Barry Helfmann provided full patient bills—including diagnosis and treatment information for mental conditions—to attorneys whom he had hired to collect on delinquent patient accounts.

Over the 25 years Helfmann had been using this firm to collect bills, 81 collection complaints were filed . . .

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