What is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act?
If you are a physical or other medical provider, you are subject to complying with HIPAA rules. HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and it was designed to provide privacy to protection to patients’ medical records and other health information provided to doctors, hospitals, healthcare plans, or other medical provider.
Who is Responsible for Enforcing HIPAA?
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Officer for Civil Rights (OCR), referred to as OCR, is tasked with enforcing the HIPPA Privacy and Security Rules. OCR is able to investigate complaints, conduct compliance reviews, and educate providers on compliance with HIPAA rules and requirements. Failure to comply with HIPAA rules can result in serious penalties, both civil and criminal.
What are the Penalties for HIPAA Violations?
HIPAA violations can carry both civil and/or criminal penalties. The severity of a HIPAA violation can differ depending on if the violation knowingly occurred, reasonable cause, if there was willful negligence, and whether or not the violation was corrected within the give time frame. HIPAA violations can also carry criminal penalties. These penalties will also differ based on if the violation occurred knowingly, under fall pretenses, or if the offense was committed for some kind of personal gain or advantage.
What Should I Do if I Think I Violated HIPAA?
HIPAA violations are serious offenses that should not be and generally are not taken lightly. If you have violated HIPAA, you should speak with an attorney who can help you understand the consequences you face that are specific to your particular circumstances.
If you require a medical law attorney for your legal matters, call Paul E. Walker, an experienced New York City OPMC & OPD Lawyer. Please contact the Walker Medical Law firm to set up a free initial consultation.