If you or someone close to you has been the victim of medical malpractice, as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you may be wondering what your options are. The best way to determine the right course of action is to talk with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. This guide will walk you through the medical malpractice lawsuits for HIPAA violations and how to go about making a case in court against an abuser of patient confidentiality rights under HIPAA.
What is HIPAA?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 established national standards for safeguarding medical records and other personal health information. Under these laws, which were later updated in 2009, it’s crucial for healthcare organizations to develop policies and procedures that ensure health care data is safeguarded and the patient’s privacy is protected. It also places restrictions on the use of health data, and when HIPAA is violated knowingly, the penalties can be severe. The violations are punishable by fines of up to $50,000 and imprisonment for up to one year.
Can You Sue a Medical Professional for HIPAA Violation?
Patients often ask if they can sue a medical professional or healthcare facility for violating their privacy. The short answer is yes. You can file a lawsuit against a healthcare provider or other individual(s) who violate your HIPAA rights. However, it’s also important to understand that not all instances of such violations are equal in severity, and some may carry more serious consequences than others.
Through Federal Government
If you’re looking for answers on how you can protect yourself from a medical malpractice lawsuit, start by contacting your federal government. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) for Health and Human Services handles complaints about HIPAA violations and has guidance available for patients as well as providers who are accused of violating any parts of these regulations. When you find out there is a violation, the complaints must be filed within 180 days.
The complaint must be filed with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and you can file the claim anonymously. But the OCR will not begin investigating the case unless you reveal your identity and allow OCR to contact you regarding the complaint you have filed. After a thorough investigation, the OCR will take action against the health care provider, and the type of action taken may depend on the following factors-
- Whether the violation was an accident or not
- The number of individuals affected
- Repeat violations
State Law on HIPAA
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that guarantees medical privacy for all patients in accordance with state medical malpractice laws. If a doctor or hospital reveals confidential information about a patient due to negligence, an attorney can file a lawsuit under breach of contract, which is another form of medical malpractice. When you pursue a lawsuit under state law, you must prove that you have suffered physical harm or monetary damages due to the violation of protecting your private medical information.
Contact your personal injury attorney for more information on the medical malpractice lawsuits for HIPAA violations.