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Colorado Attorneys
Gerash Steiner, P.C. Featuring More Than 40 Years of Trial Experience

HIPAA Violations & Medical Malpractice

Your Health Is #1

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a US law that was implemented in 1996 and is intended to protect patients’ health information and secure their medical details so that prohibited parties can’t access it. HIPAA covers a wide range of areas, but we will focus on patient privacy violations for the purposes of this blog. If you believe your protected health information (PHI) details were inappropriately handled or used, it’s in your best interests to discuss your situation with us so we can strategize how to best pursue justice on your behalf.

HIPAA Facts & Implications

The state of Colorado recognizes that HIPAA is “ … designed to protect sensitive health care information and reduce the administrative burden of health care for health care providers.” It also “ … protects the portability of health insurance coverage for employees and their families if they change or lose their jobs.”

HIPAA Privacy Rule

The US Department of Health & Human Services describes the HIPAA Privacy Rule as such:

  • protects individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.
  • requires appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information.
  • sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without patient authorization.
  • gives patients rights over their health information, including rights to examine and obtain a copy of their health records, and to request corrections.

Essentially health care providers are accountable for upholding and honoring your HIPAA rights by law. If they don't, you may file a medical malpractice lawsuit against those who allegedly violated your rights. According to the HIPAA Journal, the most common examples of HIPAA violations include:

  • Accessing health records for reasons other than those protected by the Privacy Rule.
  • Failure to perform an organization-wide risk analysis: If the analysis is not performed regularly, organizations can’t determine whether any risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI exist, leaving them vulnerable to potential hacking.
  • Failure to enter into a HIPAA-compliant business associate agreement.
  • Failure to use encryption or an equivalent measure to safeguard ePHI (electronic PHI) on portable devices.
  • Impermissible disclosures of PHI.
  • Improper disposal of PHI: If PHI isn’t securely and permanently destroyed, then anyone could access it.
  • Denying patients access to health records/exceeding the time limit for providing access.
  • Leaving portable electronic devices and paperwork unattended.
  • Releasing patient information without authorization or to an unauthorized person.
  • Downloading PHI onto unauthorized devices.

Don’t Become a Victim of a HIPPA Violation

Your PHI is in the hands of healthcare professionals. As such, it should be safeguarded and protected at all costs, or else action must be taken. Our medical malpractice attorneys have your best interests in mind and can help you file a medical malpractice claim and argue that you suffered medical negligence, or something else, depending on your unique circumstances.

When you retain Gerash Steiner, P.C. to represent you, you can trust that we will listen to your goals and implement effective strategies to prove that you are a victim of medical malpractice. We care about helping you move forward and regaining your peace of mind.

Schedule your free consultation online or by calling (303) 732-5048!