LOUISIANA (KTAL/KMSS) – Two of the largest hospital networks in Louisiana are facing class-action lawsuits for allegedly using a tracking code in their websites that shared sensitive patient data without the patients’ knowledge or consent, according to lawsuits filed by Herman Herman & Katz lawyers.

The lawsuit alleges that the computer code, Meta Pixel, potentially analyzed, gathered, and shared the sensitive medical data of hundreds of thousands of patients.

The victims were patients within the LCMC Health Systems network of hospitals in the New Orleans area and Willis-Knighton Health System facilities in northwest Louisiana.

The Meta Pixel code was created by Meta to narrowly target users with digital advertisements.

When website visitors clicked the “schedule an appointment” button, the code captured sensitive health information like medical conditions, prescriptions, doctors’ names, and previous appointments and sent it to Facebook, according to the lawsuits.

According to the lawsuits, the use of the code in healthcare settings violates the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which prohibits the sharing of personal health information with a third party without explicit patient consent

Willis-Knighton Health System is the largest healthcare provider in northwest Louisiana and includes Willis-Knighton Medical Center, Willis-Knighton South & the Center for Women’s Health, WK Bossier Health Center, WK Pierremont Health Center, and WK Rehabilitation Institute.