What are the Consequences of a Physician Violating HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA, was created in 1996 to prohibit medical professionals from disclosing patient information. Medical professionals are responsible for ensuring a level of confidentiality. This is why HIPAA violations are not taken lightly. Continue reading to discover the details of HIPAA, what is considered a HIPAA violation, and the penalties that may be imposed. Reach out to our experienced New York medical misconduct defense attorney today to learn more about HIPAA violations and how we can help if you have been investigated by the OPMC. Here are some questions you may have:

What is HIPAA?

HIPAA was created and designed to ensure United States patients can feel confident that their medical records and health information is kept private. The law prevents medical professionals from sharing patient information that is confidential. It also prevents medical professionals from making patient information public. All patient information must be kept between the patient and the professional, even if a patient’s condition is not sensitive or severe.

Patients have the options and right to choose who can view their records through legal paperwork that gives their loved ones the right to access this confidential information. Medical professionals may discuss the patient’s information only with the approved parties that are within HIPAA guidelines.

What is Considered a HIPAA Violation?

Any circumstance where a medical professional shares information about their patient to any other party who is not designated to receive this information is considered a violation of HIPAA. This can be as simple as telling another party that a patient is receiving treatment or care.

Any violation of HIPAA can be reported by a hospital, another physician, or the patient to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct or OPMC. Then will result in an OPMC investigation. The following penalties may be imposed depending on the severity of the violation:

  • In the event of multiple violations within the same year, the professional may face a fine of $1.5 million.
  • If there was willful neglect that was corrected during a certain amount of time, they may face a fine between $10,000 and $50,000
  • If there was willful neglect that was not corrected, the professional may face a $50,000 fine
  • If a professional claimed they had reasonable cause to violate HIPAA, they may face a $1,000-$50,000 fine
  • If a professional did not know they were in violation, they may be subject to a $100-$50,000 fine

Contact our experienced New York City firm

When a medical professional is accused of misconduct, they must retain strong legal representation. 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.