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Will HIPAA violations put your license at risk?

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2023 | Medical Licensing

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is something that all medical professionals and personnel must abide by.

The penalties for failing to adhere to HIPAA either through intentional or unintentional action are quite steep. But can it even put a license at risk?

What is the Code of Ethics?

The Office for Civil Rights investigates complaints, provides education and conducts certain compliance reviews with HIPAA requirements. They discuss the Code of Ethics, i.e. the code that medical professionals do their practice by. The goal of this code is to provide the best patient care possible.

Through HIPAA, parts of this code became codified into law. This includes the Privacy Rule, which establishes protection for patient privacy.

What are violations of HIPAA?

Violations come in many forms. It can include posting information online, unauthorized access by employees to patient information, forwarding information to personal email accounts, failing to secure patient information and texting or talking about patient information.

What are the penalties?

First, financial penalties exist. For the above violations and more, penalties of up to $50,000 may apply.

Complaints of HIPAA violations that appear to involve criminal activity may also end up escalated to the Department of Justice, at which point it could net the penalties of a different crime.

For example, a violation carried out under false pretense may result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years and a fine of up to $100,000.

Of course, a practicing physician’s license may also end up revoked or suspended depending on the crime in question. Thus, it is best to do what is possible to face these accusations in court.