Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) & Privacy Rule Violations

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) & Privacy Rule Violations

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Our case assignment deals with Dr. Williams a recent medical school graduate who is licensed and meets the requirements to legally practice medicine. Graduating from an overseas medical school made it difficult finding employment so he chose to operate a medical clinic providing abortion services based on a very profitable clinic operated by a former classmate and friend. Prior to leaving my job as his assistant I witnessed a patient, Joan, suffer an injury resulting from an error by Dr. Williams. In anticipation of Joan filing a lawsuit Dr. Williams shows Joan’s medical records to a friend and asks for advice. His friend tells him to contact his medical malpractice insurance carrier. Has there been a HIPAA violation? Is Dr. Williams subject to criminal prosecution and what penalties could he face? Understanding HIPAA regulations, federal and state laws and violations, then applying them to Dr. Williams’ case provides the answers.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
Enactment of HIPAA guaranteed health insurance coverage portability and directing the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to implement the national standard for electronic healthcare transactions. The HIPAA Privacy Rule (Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information) was adopted when it was determined that developing technology would soon place certain individually identifiable health information or protected health information (PHI) at a greater risk of disclosure. Oversight and enforcement of the Privacy Rule and regulating the use and disclosure of PHI by covered entities falls to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) under DHHS (Office for Civil Rights, Health Information Privacy, 2011). Compla...


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.... The New England Journal of Medicine 2007;356: 2713-9. Retrieved June 1, 2011, from https://secure.muhealth.org/~ed/students/articles/NEJM_356_p2713.pdf
Medical Errors and Patient Safety. (2008). The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website. Retrieved May 31, 2011, from http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/psoact.htm.
Office for Civil Rights, Health Information Privacy. (2011). Understanding Health Information Privacy. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website. Retrieved May 30, 2011, from http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/index.html.
Office for Civil Rights, Privacy Brief. (2003). Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website. Retrieved May 30, 2011, from http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/privacysummary.pdf.

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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) & Privacy Rule Violations

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