Healthcare privacy and security issues arise every single day as information becomes less secure and enforcement grows more stringent. In fact, data breaches have risen drastically in recent years. A whopping 92 percent of all healthcare institutions have experienced one in the past few years, costing an average of $2.2 million.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was intended to streamline healthcare processes by establishing standards for electronic technology to process billing and insurance transactions. Although HIPAA has a mechanism by which healthcare providers can be subject to federal civil and criminal penalties for violations, HIPAA does not allow for a “private cause of action,” meaning a private individual cannot sue a health care provider for breaching his or her medical privacy. So it is very important to pay close attention to the way each state’s courts interpret HIPAA compliance relating to individual lawsuits.