The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn

Could a HIPAA violation jeopardize your professional license?

Privacy rights are becoming an increasing concern in many industries, and medicine is no exception. Healthcare providers must comply with a bevy of regulations, including privacy rights established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. In fact, violating a HIPAA regulation could come with serious consequences, possibly jeopardizing a health professional’s license.

Unfortunately, it can be easy to make a mistake, as the regulatory requirements of HIPAA are dense. Some areas may be common sense, such as the lawful practice of sharing a patient’s records with other doctors to coordinate treatment goals. Similarly, it is easy to remember that disclosing a patient's records to third party marketing entities is generally prohibited. Other prohibited practices are not so intuitive, such as including a patient in a newsletter after obtaining oral, but not written consent.

As this discussion illustrates, there are administrative matters relating to a professional practice that may go far outside a health professional’s specific area of training. Yet a professional is expected to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, and a violation could subject a professional to an administrative hearing and/or a subsequent loss of a professional license.

Fortunately, there are many administrative procedures associated with professional license defense, and contacting a law firm that has experience in this specific area of the law can go a long way toward protecting a professional’s career. Our Philadelphia law firm has helped many clients facing hard questions from licensing authorities. Where possible, we take proactive steps to rectify any misunderstandings before the dispute becomes a formal complaint.   

Source: MedCityNews, “A quick refresher on HIPAA for healthcare providers (infographic),” Frank Sivilli, Dec. 2, 2016

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