The privacy and confidentiality that is required by a healthcare employee or business is controlled and regulated primarily by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA makes certain medical information about an individual private and requires healthcare-related industries to enact policies and procedures to ensure the confidentiality of private medical information including name, address, social security number, and any medical information about that individual.
If there is a violation of the policies and procedures required by HIPAA, the law allows for litigation and damages against the offending medical provider or healthcare-related business. With that being said, HIPAA violations and lawsuits can be quite expensive for medical businesses. If you find yourself in this position, the experienced healthcare lawyers at Leiva Law Firm can help.
Determining a Violation of California HIPAA Laws
To determine a violation of HIPAA laws and regulations can be complicated. Simply put, however, a violation is the release and dissemination of covered, private medical information without the consent of the individual or without an exception that is carved out in the law. Violations or non-compliance of the law can be monetary damages as well as criminal punishment and jail time. Money damages can range from $100 per violation up to $50,000 per violation. The maximum penalty can be as high as $1.5 million per year for an entity that continually violates a provision of the law. The amount of monetary damages depends upon the level of knowledge of the breach and neglect and negligence. The highest penalties and possible jail time are when a healthcare business is found to be willfully neglectful in violation of one or more of the provisions of HIPAA.
Many violations occur due to healthcare businesses not having proper encryption on medical data. Often this theft of data can and should be protected against but are not adequate. Some violations occur to do employee error where private medical information is mistakenly lost or sent to third parties that are not covered under HIPAA. Some breaches of the law even occur due to employees losing hand-held devices with private medical data that was available to the public.
Fighting a HIPAA Violation Case
An individual does not have the right to file a lawsuit against your medical organization. However, the individual whose medical data was breached can file a claim through a state attorney general or the Department of Health and Human Services. It is these entities that would bring a lawsuit against you for violation of the law.
HIPAA violation lawsuits can be very complicated to defend against if you are a medical provider, health insurance company or healthcare industry business. The best chance to not be sued is to have proper policies and procedures in place to begin with so that data breaches cannot happen. However, if you do have a lawsuit filed against you, retaining an experienced HIPAA violation lawyer is imperative. Your medical practice needs to have the best advice to resolve these types of claims with the government before it gets too expensive.
California Healthcare Lawyer
The attorneys at Leiva Law Firm have been helping healthcare industry businesses for over 25 years. If you have a HIPAA violation lawsuit filed against you, please contact us immediately at (818) 703-1777 so that we can help your business successfully resolve these claims.