Typical Sanctions for Violations of Your HIPAA Rights Provide Little Recourse
Under federal law, each patient has the right to keep their medical records private. The Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, often referred to as HIPAA, protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information. A specific federal agency, the Office for Civil Rights, enforces this rule. Federal regulations allows the Office for Civil Rights to determine whether to pursue a claim for the breach of your private medical records. If the Office for Civil Rights decides to purse your claim, sanctions for the violation are typically minimal. For instance, an acknowledgment of the laws governing individually identifiable health information, an agreement to adhere to these provisions, and, in the most severe situations (according to the OCR) additional training. These sanctions rarely provide much assistance to the people whose private medical information has been breached. However, if the Office for Civil Rights decides not to pursue the violation of your privacy rights, you have less obvious recourse since the Office for Civil Rights is the party with the right to pursue these claims. There are alternatives, however, if you obtain the assistance of an attorney who can find alternative ways to pursue a claim.
Contact a Montana Lawyer with Experience Pursuing Violations of Your Privacy Rights
Philip McGrady has experience pursuing these types of claims and can provide you with legal assistance if your privacy rights have been breached. Contact the McGrady Law Firm for more information.
If you would like additional information on this topic, a recent story on All Things Considered is very informative: