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Damages for violation under HIPPA rules ?

Medfield, MA |
Filed under: Civil rights

I presented to a medical facility for emergency treatment and my bill was wrongfully sent to collections . My insurance approval took 6 months as it was through the State and they are painfully behind . Approval has been provided RETROACTIVELY and date of incident is COVERED . Collection agency is reporting to three agencies which is DAMAGING my credit rating . I have also learned that I had to provide collection agency with proof of insurance so they can bill the ICD - 9 and procedure codes ! This is a complete violation of my HIPPA ! I did not give the hospital permission to release any medical information to a third party ! How do I seek for damages ?

Attorney Answers 3


There is no private right of action For violating HIPAA. Persons aggrieved by a covered entity's unauthorized released of personally identifiable health information may file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. That federal agency has the power to impose fines on covered entities for violating HIPAA, but none of those fines go back to compensate the complainant whose health information was released.

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I do not see a violation

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The federal HIPAA law allows the providers / hospitals that treat you to release information in order to get paid without getting any specific permission from you. That includes giving information to collection agencies. I've linked the website for the Office for Civil Rights, which enforces HIPAA, below if you want more information on this point.

You may have other rights under Massachusetts law or laws relating to debt collection. If you are interested in getting more input on your situation you can change the "practice area" above to "debt collection" and perhaps get answers from attorneys that focus on that area of the law.

This response is intended to provide general information, but not legal advice. The response may be different if there are other or different facts than those included in the original question. See for more information on why this communication is not privileged or create an attorney-client relationship.

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