Defending against HIPAA violations

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2022 | Firm News

Each year, many medical care providers face charges for violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). If you are convicted of a HIPAA violation, you may face both criminal and civil penalties.

Protecting patient’s information under HIPAA

Under HIPAA, healthcare providers, health plans, and certain other entities are not permitted to disclose sensitive patient health information (PHI) without the patient’s consent. However, not all patient information is protected by HIPAA. Generally, protected information may include the patient’s identifying information, such as their:

  • Name and address
  • Age
  • Contact information
  • Social Security number
  • Photographs

To prove that a healthcare entity has violated HIPAA, investigators must show that:

  • There was information disclosed to a third party.
  • The disclosed information was PHI.
  • The alleged violator’s intentions/knowledge of the privacy breach and steps taken to remedy the breach.

Defending against HIPAA violations

A Texas attorney specializing in healthcare law can help you defend against the charges you face. Here are some common defense strategies an attorney may consider in your case:

  • Proving the alleged violator acted in good faith and unintentionally, and their actions were within the course and scope of their assigned duties (e.g., accidentally reading the wrong patient’s chart while attempting to administer care).
  • Proving the alleged violator unintentionally shared the PHI with another person authorized to access that information (e.g., nurse e-mails wrong patient records to doctor, who does not share the information with anyone else).
  • Proving the alleged violator unintentionally sent PHI to someone who could not retain the information (e.g., doctor gives prescription to the wrong patient, who returns it right away).

Healthcare providers who are found guilty of violating HIPAA may face serious consequences. An attorney specializing in healthcare defense can help you every step of the way.