Navigating The Tricky Realm Of HIPAA Regulations (And Defending Against Alleged Violations)

Privacy issues are a big deal in the health care industry. Data breaches involving medical records or protected health information can lead to millions of dollars in fines and remediation costs. Lapses can permanently damage your reputation and trigger professional disciplinary proceedings. They can also expose you to civil lawsuits from affected patients.

Avoiding these harsh consequences depends, first, on putting into place the right policies and practices to ensure HIPAA compliance and, second, dealing with possible breaches and their fallout in a swift and strategic manner to avoid harsh legal penalties. The accomplished team at Roberts Law Group can help you with both.

As accomplished defense lawyers with vast experience in the federal realm, we know how to handle HIPAA violations - and how to implement proactive measures to avoid them in the first place.

From our main offices in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, we serve health-care providers statewide - including physicians, group practices, medical supply companies, pharmacies, individual health care providers, and other local, regional and national health care organizations.

Understanding HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act imposes sweeping obligations on health care providers and their business associates. It applies to "covered entities" - providers that bill or transmit patient information electronically.

As a covered entity, you must adhere to detailed HIPAA privacy rules regarding medical records and personal protected health information, or else face harsh penalties. These duties include:

  • Maintaining adequate security measures (physical and electronic) to protect personal health information
  • Providing patients with privacy notices
  • Implementing policies to protect patients' rights
  • Obtaining written consent via HIPAA-compliant authorizations for certain disclosures
  • Undergoing periodic audits by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
  • Ensuring that agreements or contracts with business associates require adequate safeguards for personal health information
  • Notifying the government and affected parties of any data breaches
  • Remedying any lapses that led to a breach
  • Conducting internal investigations to determine whether (and how) data breaches involving medical records have occurred

Violations can arise from any number of the regulatory minutia that apply to covered entities, and the civil and criminal penalties for HIPAA violations can be severe.

Facing An Audit, Investigation Or Enforcement Action For Violations Of HIPAA?

Far too many health care providers wait until they're waist-deep in enforcement proceedings before enlisting defense counsel. To effectively defend against these actions, we need to be involved at the outset - preferably at the audit or investigation stage, before enforcement proceedings are underway. Still, at any point in the process, our lawyers can provide valuable representation to protect your interests and contain the fallout. We understand the nuances of complex HIPAA regulations, and as seasoned defense attorneys, we know how to stand up for your rights and interests.

Learn more about how we can help you: Contact us online or call 866-630-2389.