Medical patients should have rest assured knowing that their medical records and health information is kept private between them and their trusted medical professionals. So when their trusted medical professionals break this trust, this may be considered a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) act violation, and serious consequences may ensue. Follow along to find out what is considered a HIPAA violation and how a proficient OPMC/OPD misconduct defense attorney at Walker Medical Law can fight on your behalf.
What is protected under HIPAA?
Enacted in 1996 by the United States Congress, HIPAA is a federal law that called for the creation of national standards to protect confidential patient medical records and health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. Importantly, this confidentiality applies regardless of whole sensitive or serious the patient’s health condition is.
If a patient will like a certain party or parties to be aware of their health condition, then they must fill out legal paperwork to mark their approval. Still, such discussion of patient information with approved loved ones needs to remain within HIPAA guidelines.
What is a HIPAA violation?
Evidently, a HIPAA violation occurs when a medical professional release a patient’s health information to another party or parties who are not designated to receive this information. Examples of such a violation may include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- A medical professional discloses to another party that their patient is receiving a certain treatment or care.
- A medical professional does not provide a patient with their medical records within 30 days of their request.
- A medical professional loses their patient’s medical documentation.
What happens if I am accused of a HIPAA violation?
Whether you are a patient, physician, or part of a hospital faculty, then you can report what you believe to be a HIPAA violation to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC). This will prompt the OPMC to launch an investigation of the medical professional in question. If found guilty of a HIPAA violation, then the medical professional may be facing any of the following consequences:
- The medical professional did not know that they were in violation of HIPAA:
- A fine of anywhere between $100 to $50,000.
- The medical professional claimed they had reasonable cause for their violation of HIPAA:
- A fine of anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000.
- The medical professional was willingly negligent but corrected it within a certain period of time:
- A fine of anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000.
- The medical professional was willingly negligent but did not correct it within a certain period of time:
- A fine of approximately $50,000.
- The medical professional willingly committed multiple HIPAA violations in the same year:
- A fine of approximately $1.5 million.
That said, if you have these accusations coming in your direction, you must retain legal representation from a talented New York medical misconduct attorney today.