“Even though the civil rights office can impose large fines, it rarely does:
It received nearly 18,000 complaints in 2014 but took only six formal actions that year.
A recent report from the HHS inspector general said the office wasn’t keeping track of repeat offenders, much less doing anything about them.”
[Who is protected by patient privacy laws? Hint: not patients.]
“Making matters worse, HIPAA does not allow patients to sue health providers for damages if they violate the law. So if the federal government doesn’t enforce the law, there are often no consequences for breaking it, though some patients have found grounds to sue under some states’ laws.”
The greatest offender is (drum roll) the VA!
I always read the comments…it’s something those who like to peek behind the curtain do; to discover important bread crumbs of information. : )
- “The main violators of health privacy are health insurance companies that can audit anyone’s chart. And audit they do. What do they do with that information they access? Destroy it and wipe the computer? Charles Ornstein should interview Managed Care.”
- “I recently found out just how “private” our medical records are. I had a blood test that indicated I was borderline diabetic. Within ten days, I was receiving emails from services offering counseling and diabetes supplies – all at no cost to me, since it is billed directly to insurance.”
- “HIPAA was already a joke. You have to sign away your right to keep your records private whenever you want to get any not even tangentially-related medical service.”
- As I’ve mentioned in comments about other WaPo stories, complaints to the Joint Commission (formerly JC for the accreditation of healthcare facilities) can be made at their website http://www.jointcomission.org. Look for the link in the blue box on the homepage. Since JC accreditation is required for reimbursement by Medicare or Medicaid, a complaint to JC can galvanize the attention of healthcare administrators. Consider that there’s a presidential election coming up and also let your congressperson know if your health info privacy has been compromised.
Last: Ending on a high note….I leave you with an important dietary information.
Happy New Year!