Your medical records are considered private information between you and
your healthcare provider. Under the Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act of 1996 (HIPAA), your healthcare provider is prohibited from releasing
your medical records without your prior written consent. If you believe
your medical records have been released without your consent, you may
be able to sue your doctor. Our West Virginia personal injury attorneys
are extremely adept at handling cases like this.
Get the answers you need—Call us at 888.492.4303
Under federal HIPAA regulations, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals
cannot release your personal identifying medical information to anyone
without your consent. If they do breach this regulation, HIPAA does not
allow for a private cause of action. What this means is, just because
your doctor or pharmacy may have released your personal medical information
to someone without your consent, this does not mean you are able to file
a lawsuit against them. If your medical records were released without
your consent, you may contact the U.S. Department of Health & Human
Safety Services and
file a complaint.
Medical records include information such as:
- Medical History
- Lifestyle information
- Past medical procedures
- Laboratory test results
- Prescribed medications
In order for you to have a civil case against your medical provider for
releasing your medical records, you must prove that by doing so you suffered
harm. When someone suffers harm, it means they have suffered a certifiable
monetary loss. For example:
Steve has been selected to open a new branch of his company’s retail
stores overseas in China. He is excited as this would mean a promotion
and a raise. While Steve’s employer is performing the necessary
background checks they need in order to approve all their employees for
international travel, they contact Steve’s doctor and request copies
of his medical records. The company representative claims to have Steve’s
permission to do so over the phone and the medical professional releases
the records to Steve’s employer. A few days later, Steve is told
that he will no longer be going on the trip to China as they have found
a more suitable candidate for the job.
In this example, Steve could follow through with civil legal action against
his medical provider because he may be able to provide proof he has suffered
loss as a direct result of the federal HIPAA violation. Steve’s
damages would be a loss of income had he been able to travel to China
and work in the position he had been promoted to.
What do I do now?
It is important to note that if your medical history has been released
without your consent and you have suffered damages, you should always
file a complaint with the HHS. If you file a complaint with the HHS, a
full investigation into the complaint will be launched and our West Virginia
personal injury attorneys could use their investigation and findings as
solid evidence in your case.
If you’ve suffered from your medical records being released without
your consent, you need to consult a West Virginia personal injury lawyer.
Our accomplished trial attorneys can help you get the reparations you
deserve. With over 30 years of experience and a consistent record of success,
you can be confident you’re getting exceptional legal counsel.
Get the legal help you need –Contact us