OT: HIPAA Privacy Rule Myths and Facts # 2...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kjfms, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    Myth #2: Patients can sue health care providers for not complying with the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

    FACT: The Privacy Rule does not give people the right to sue. Even if a person is the victim of an egregious violation of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, the law does not give people the right to sue.

    Instead, individuals must file a written complaint with the Secretary of Health and Human Services via the Office for Civil Rights.

    It is then within the Secretary's discretion to investigate the complaint. HHS may impose civil penalties ranging from $100 to $25,000, and criminal sanctions ranging from $50,000 to $250,000, with corresponding prison terms, may be enforced by the Department of Justice.

    However, since the Privacy Rule went into effect, HHS has focused on a complaint-driven process that relies on voluntary compliance with the law.

    So far, even though over 13,000 complaints have been filed, not one civil monetary penalty has been issued.

    Edited to add...The first criminal conviction under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, a Washington state man was convicted of wrongfully accessing a patent's protected health information in 2004 to obtain credit cards.

    Because of lax enforcement, the impact of the law is diminished.



    [This Message was Edited on 04/22/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/22/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 07/24/2006]
  2. kjfms

    kjfms Member

  3. kjfms

    kjfms Member