You might have heard your doctor’s staff, or hospital staff, ask you for a HIPAA release. This acronym comes from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which is a law that protects your confidential medical information.

HIPAA Applies to Every Person

This law was put into effect in 1996. It is a federal law, and it applies in every state to every person. The law allows your medical providers (doctors, nurses, mental health and laboratory technicians) to share your medical information freely with other health care providers at the place you are treated. At the same time, the law prohibits your health care providers from sharing your medical information with third parties, such as employers, insurance carriers, and opposing counsel in lawsuits.

The HIPAA Release

So, do you want a third party (an insurance company, for example) to see your private medical information so that they might help you, pay you or authorize a second opinion?  To do this, you must waive your privacy rights in a document called a HIPAA release. This is a standard, often pre-printed form. It does not have to be notarized, and can be signed by your designated third party with your permission.

How to File a Complaint

This law allows you to sue, or ask for other relief, if you suffer from an intentional or inadvertent disclosure of your medical information without your consent or knowledge. You can file a complaint with your insurer (if they are involved) or with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Such complaints can end up in a full-fledged lawsuit in court, and you are guaranteed attorney’s fees and damages under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Shaun Kaufman: Compassionate Lawyer, Tough Litigator

Shaun Kaufman Law

Personal injury lawyer Shaun Kaufman has nearly 30 years experience in Colorado courtrooms.  Shaun represents persons injured in auto, bicycle and motorcycle accidents, as well as those hurt on the property of others.  If you have been injured and have a question about your privacy rights, contact Shaun Kaufman Law, twenty-four hours a day/seven days a week, at 303-309-0430